Asian Short-toed Lark Alaudala cheleensis Scientific name definitions

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



There is little information on breeding in this species. The content below is based 22, 15, 16, 14 and on the authors' experience, except where otherwise noted.


In Mongolia, its breeding season begins in early May and finishes by mid July, although in the steppe and desert steppe, some breeding pairs may rear their chicks even in late July, possibly as a result of failed first attempts. In Inner Mongolia, China, breeding begins in mid-April and ends in mid-June (18). There are no indications that the Asian Short-toed Lark may have two broods in the same season, and Korelov (9) specifically stated that the subspecies leucophaea is single-brooded.

Nest Site

Site Characteristics

The nest is placed in a shallow scrape in the ground, often sheltered by tufts of grass, low Caragana spp. bushes or small tussocks, or even a cow dung.


Structure and Composition

The nest is lined with thin grass stems, leaves and other plant material, very rarely also with a few hairs.


Color and Surface Texture

Eggs are a glossy cold grayish or silvery grayish background color, with dark-brown, olive-brown, grayish, or cool reddish-brown, irregular, variable speckles and spots, which are denser at the large end of the egg.

Clutches Size

Clutches contain 2–4, rarely 5, eggs.


Both sexes, but mostly the female, incubate the eggs for 2 weeks.


The eggs hatch asynchronously within a clutch.

Young Birds

Parental Care

Both parents feed the young. During hot, as well as cold rainy days, the parents shelter the small nestlings in the nest. Fully grown fledglings follow the parents and beg for food well after they have left the nest, and the parents feed young that have dispersed in different directions and at different distances from the nest.

Cooperative Breeding

No data on cooperative breeding.

Brood Parasitism by Other Species

In Mongolia, one nest with a Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) egg has been found (G.S.), otherwise no information.

Fledgling Stage

The young leave the nest after they are fully feathered, with very short remiges and tail. They then stay near the nest, and eventually walk away from the nest and hide under tall bushes and tussocks. Young can fly less than 2 weeks after hatching.

Immature Stage

Information needed.

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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