Skylarks and woodlarks both belong to the same family of birds, but they have distinct differences in their size, coloration, and habitat. While skylarks are larger and are typically found in open fields and grasslands, woodlarks are smaller with darker plumage and prefer more densely wooded areas.


(Photo By Heather Wilde on Unsplash)

picture of a skylark

Skylarks are small to medium-sized passerine birds with long tails and hind claws. They have brown upperparts, paler underparts and a white wingbar. The males have a black breast-band and the females a brown one. Both sexes have a white outer tail feather.

The song of the skylark is often heard before the bird is seen. It is a continuous trill which rises in pitch and then falls again, sometimes with pauses in between. The song may last for more than two minutes without pausing for breath.

Skylarks breed on open farmland, usually near to trees or hedges. The nest is built on the ground, concealed among vegetation. 3-6 eggs are laid and incubated by both parents for 12-15 days.

The young leave the nest about 18 days after hatching and are able to fly at about 24 days old. Both parents continue to feed them for several weeks after they have left the nest.

There are several things that make skylarks special: their beautiful song, their nests on the ground, and the fact that both parents help to care for their young.


(Åsa Berndtsson on Flickr )

picture of a woodlark

Woodlarks are small, delicate-looking birds with long tails and short legs. They are brown above and white below, with a streaked breast. The male has a black stripe down the center of his back. Both sexes have a white wing bar. Woodlarks are found in woods and scrublands.

What makes woodlarks special is their song. The males sing a beautiful, ethereal song from high up in the trees. The song is made up of trills, warbles, and whistles, and can last for over two minutes. It is one of the longest songs of any bird species. The female woodlark also has a lovely song, although it is shorter than the male’s song.

Skylarks Vs. Woodlarks – Key differences


The skylark and the woodlark are both small, brown birds with streaked plumage. The skylark is slightly larger than the woodlark and has a longer, more pointed beak. The woodlark also has a distinctive white stripe on its wing.


The biggest difference between the habitat of skylarks and woodlarks is that skylarks are found in open areas with short vegetation, while woodlarks prefer denser forests. Skylarks also tend to build their nests on the ground, while woodlarks will build theirs in trees or bushes.


There are a few key differences between the songs of skylarks and woodlarks. For one, skylarks sing a much more complex song than woodlarks. Skylarks also sing much louder than woodlarks, often reaching 100 decibels! Woodlarks, on the other hand, have a simpler song consisting of just a few notes. Another key difference is that skylarks sing continuously while in flight, whereas woodlarks will stop singing periodically while still in the air. Finally, skylark songs are typically shorter than those of woodlarks.


When it comes to diet, baby skylarks and woodlarks have some key differences. For one, baby skylarks mainly eat insects while woodlarks largely subsist on a diet of berries and other fruits. Additionally, while both adult and juvenile woodlarks will eat small amounts of insects, adult skylarks almost exclusively consume them. This is likely because the high protein content of insects helps support the skylark’s active lifestyle; they are constantly on the move, flying up to heights of 1 kilometer or more to sing their characteristic song.

Why are skylarks more common than woodlarks?

There are a few reasons that skylarks are more common than woodlarks. One reason is that skylarks have a larger range than woodlarks. Another reason is that skylarks are more adaptable to different habitats than woodlarks. Additionally, the population of skylarks is much larger than the population of woodlarks. All of these factors lead to there being more skylarks than woodlarks overall.

Why do skylarks hover and sing?

There are a few reasons skylarks hover and sing. For one, it is a way to attract mates. The male skylark will sing and hover high in the air to impress potential female mates and show off his territory. Additionally, singing and hovering is thought to be a way for skylarks to ward off predators and protect their young. By being visible and vocal, skylarks are able to intimidate would-be predators and keep them at bay.

Are skylarks and woodlarks rare in UK?


Yes. skylarks are rare in the UK. The RSPB reports that there has been a decline of 50% in skylark populations since the 1970s. There are several reasons for this decline, including changes in farming practices and loss of habitat. Another reason is that they are hunted for their meat and feathers.


Yes, woodlarks are rare. In fact, they’re one of the UK’s most endangered birds. There are thought to be only around 1,000 pairs left in the wild. The main reason for their decline is habitat loss – as our countryside has become more intensively farmed over the past few decades, there’s been less and less room for these small birds to nest and forage. Woodlarks are also sometimes killed by predators such as cats and foxes.

Frequently asked questions about skylarks and woodlarks

Can you have a skylark or woodlark as a pet?

Although both skylarks and woodlarks are beautiful birds, it is important to remember that they are wild animals and not suitable as pets. These birds are protected by law in many countries, and it is illegal to take them from the wild. If you are found keeping one as a pet, you could be fined or even sent to prison.

What does the skylark and woodlark eat?

The skylark and woodlark both eat mostly insects and larvae, but the woodlark also eats berries, fruits, and seeds. The skylark’s diet consists mainly of small invertebrates like beetles and spiders.

Are skylarks protected in the UK?

Yes, skylarks are protected in the UK. The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it illegal to intentionally kill, injure or take a skylark. Additionally, the European Union Birds Directive protects skylarks across Europe.

Are there skylarks in the US?

There are no skylarks in the US. Woodlarks are found in the western US, but they are not the same bird. Skylarks are found in Europe and Asia, but not in North America.

Are larks monogamous?

Yes, larks are monogamous. In fact, they are one of the most monogamous bird species. A study of more than 1,200 lark pairs found that 99% were still together after one breeding season and 96% were still together after two breeding seasons.

Do female Skylarks have a crest?

Female skylarks do not have a crest, but their heads are darker than the males’. The easiest way to tell a male from a female skylark is by their song. Male skylarks will sing for up to six hours a day during the breeding season in order to attract a mate.

What do skylark and woodlark eggs look like?

The eggs of the skylark are a pale blue with brown spots, while the eggs of the woodlark are a deep brown with black spots. Both species of bird lay their eggs in small cups made of grass and other plant material, which they build on the ground.


Featured Image by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

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