Mongolian Short-toed Lark Calandrella dukhunensis Scientific name definitions

Per Alström and Sundev Gombobaatar
Version: 2.0 — Published September 17, 2021


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Earlier studies from China most likely referred to Hume's Lark (Calandrella acutirostris) or possibly Asian Short-toed Lark (Alaudala cheleensis). The following is based on studies in Mongolia, mainly published by 4.


In the Middle Khalkh steppe in Mongolia breeding begins in early May. The first full clutch (with already well incubated eggs) has been found on 23 May. In mid-June in the Middle Khalkh steppe, most nests had a full clutch, and in late June freshly laid eggs were found in a nest in east Mongolia. Recently fledged young have been observed in mid-to late June. It seems highly likely that the species has two broods (23).

Nest Site


The nest is placed on the ground. Out of n = 14 nests, 71.4% were found underneath Achnatherum splendens, 14.3% under Caragana spp. bushes, 7.2% underneath Carex spp., and 7.1% underneath cow dung (4).


Structure and Composition

The nest is built of dried stems of plants such as Carex spp. and Stipa spp., lined with very thin and fine dried grasses and some hairs (4).


The following is based on (4).


In n = 17 nests, the size of the eggs was 20.4 mm (SE = 0.14, n = 18) × 14.9 mm (SE = 0.06, n = 18).


In n = 17 nests, the weight was 2.49 g (SE = 0.09, n = 7).

Color and Surface Texture

Eggs are dull pale olive grayish-brown with small, irregular brown and dark-brown markings.

Clutch Size

In n = 17 nests, the mean clutch size was 3.4.


Incubation Period

The female incubates the eggs for 10–14 days (GS).

Young Birds

The following is based on 23.

Growth and Development

Daily growth rate of weight, tarsus, tail and wing in chicks was very intense during the period 3–7 days after hatching. Among daily growth rate parameters, the fastest growth was recorded for weight and tarsus. Daily growth rate of weight of chicks was 2.2 grammes on average from hatching to fledging. Growth of pins of tail feathers of chicks was intensified after three days of age.

Parental Care


Both parents have been observed to feed the young in the nest as well as recently fledged young (GS, PA).

Fledgling Stage

Departure from Nest

Chicks have been noted to leave their nests 6–9 days after hatching, when they can only fly short distances.

Ability to Get Around, Feed, and Care for Self

After leaving the nest, the chicks stay close to each other near the nest. They hide underneath tussocks and other tall, dense plants and beg for food. (24)

Recommended Citation

Alström, P. and S. Gombobaatar (2021). Mongolian Short-toed Lark (Calandrella dukhunensis), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.sstlar4.02