Asian Short-toed Lark Alaudala cheleensis Scientific name definitions

Per Alström, Sundev Gombobaatar, and Paul F. Donald
Version: 2.0 — Published October 24, 2023



The Asian Short-toed Lark walks and runs on the ground, but may also remain in the same spot for some time when feeding.


Agonistic Behavior

Information needed.


Information needed.

Sexual Behavior

The contents below is based on Alström et al. (1) except when otherwise noted.

The male has two types of song-flight (See Vocalizations for description of the different song types associated with these song-flights). In the high song-flight, which can continue for several minutes, the Asian Short-toed Lark of the subspecies cheleensis flies with its wings partly extended and continuously and regularly beating, sometimes momentarily slowing down the rate of the wing-beats, and occasionally with split-second glides on extended or fully closed wings. The high song-flight differs from that of the Turkestan Short-toed Lark (Alaudala heinei) in having much shorter, if any, glides on spread wings. However, there is some variation, at least in the west Chinese subspecies seebohmi (referred to as kukunoorensis in 1), which occasionally performs rather short glides on extended wings and momentary glides on closed wings, or even approaching the Turkestan Short-toed Lark in having frequent glides on extended wings.

During the low song-flight the bird flies at low height, often just a few meters above the ground, in irregular loops with slow, jerky, deep wing-beats and partly fanned tail, and the crest may be raised. This type of song-flight is not known to differ from the corresponding one in the Turkestan Short-toed Lark. This song-flight is probably also given by the female during distress (see Vocalizations).

In the mating period, the male may display to a female on the ground, with raised crest and tail, ruffed throat feathers and slightly lowered wings. During strong excitement, the male may extend and flap his wings and run after or around the female, or display to her from a perch. (P.A., G.S.)

Social and Interspecific Behavior

Information needed.


In Mongolia, red fox (Vulpes vulpes), corsac fox (Vulpes corsac), and Halys pit viper (Gloydius halys) prey upon eggs and chicks in the nest (16). It is also preyed upon by the Saker Falcon (19, 20, 21), and Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) and Merlin (Falco columbarius) hunt overwintering individuals in wheat fields in Mongolia in winter (G.S.).

Recommended Citation

Alström, P., S. Gombobaatar, and P. F. Donald (2023). Asian Short-toed Lark (Alaudala cheleensis), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.
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