The woodlark is well known for its striking melodious song, which it delivers on the wing. Similar to its skylark cousin, the woodlark however differs in its song, the bold eyebrow, and the short tail with the white tips.
Woodlarks are protected under schedule 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) which means it is an offence to take, injure or kill a woodlark or to destroy or take a nest or its contents. The species is also listed in the Norfolk Biodiversity Action Plan.
Due to the woodlark's specialist habitat requirements, it can only thrive where the land is actively managed. Grasslands grazed by rabbits are a good habitat but in forestry areas active management is needed to ensure healthy population levels. Here it is necessary to ensure there are managed areas of clear fell providing suitable short grass for feeding and breeding.
Woodlark surveys carried out by the British Trust for Ornithology show that breeding pairs have been increasing thanks to better habitat management.
Related questions & advice
The British Trust for Ornithology carries out many surveys to monitor bird populations and actively seeks assistance from members of the public. For more information, go to their website at www.bto.org
. Alternatively you can take part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch
which normally takes place in January.
Picture by Pat Adams