Physical characteristics: With seventeen subspecies, subgroups of a species in a particular location, the Australasian lark comes in a variety of colors and sizes depending upon its local habitat, although generally the bird weighs about 0.7 ounces (20 grams) and is 4.7 to 5.9 inches (12 to 15 centimeters) long. The Australasian lark has reddish wing patches and inconspicuous coloring. Both sexes of Australasian larks look the same.
Geographic range: As its name indicates, the Australasian lark occupies Australia and nearby Asian countries. It is found in Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia (Kalimantan, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands,
Bali), New Guinea, and all areas of Australia except the southwest.
Habitat: Australasian larks prefer to live in salty marshes, among scattered bushes in open grassland, and at the edges of plowed fields.
Diet: Like all larks, this species eats seeds and insects.
Behavior and reproduction: Australasian larks are one of the many lark species that regularly perch on wires and trees rather than remaining on or near the ground. The males' song-displays, which can last forty minutes, usually weave in the songs of other birds. This species flocks in small groups outside mating season and is migratory in southern Australia. During mating season, which lasts from November through January, the birds form monogamous pairs and together construct domed nests among low clumps of grass. The female generally lays a clutch of two to four eggs.
Australasian larks and people: The Australasian lark has no special significance to humans.
Conservation status: This species is not threatened. ■
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