EURASIAN SKYLARK….famous Canadian resident

The Eurasian Skylark population registers in the millions in Europe and Asia but the only place it resides in North America is on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia…between Sidney and Victoria. The subject of countless British poems (google Wordsworth and Tennyson) dating back hundreds of years, this famous songbird was introduced to parts of the USA and Canada in the early 1900’s. Buick even named a car after it in the 1950’s. Sadly, its NA population has almost been extirpated due to loss of farmland, changing agricultural practices and predation from starlings, crows and foxes.

The brown-colored skylark is well camouflaged and shy on the ground and very difficult to locate among its preferred grasslands. During breeding season, the skylark will “sing on territory” but its courtship display is unique. Rather than pose and sing on top of an exposed perch like many male birds, this aerial acrobat infrequently alights from its hidden position in the field and simultaneously twitters as it ascends to heights of 300 feet….a brown dot against the sky. Its unpredictable descent back to earth may have evolved to juke raptors but it frustrates photographers.

After two hours and three misses from the grounds of Longview (daffodil) Farm, I finally caught one with my telephoto lens. Not suitable for a framed print but this shot proves that indeed, the Eurasian Skylark still resides in North America.

Longview Farm (Sidney, Vancouver Island, British Columbia)

EURASIAN SKYLARK (Sidney, British Columbia)

About George C. Wood

A birder since age ten, but not necessarily an avid "lister", I am closing in on 700 (*800!) species seen in North America.....hoping to capture each sighting with my camera.
This entry was posted in Quest for 700 (*800!). Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to EURASIAN SKYLARK….famous Canadian resident

  1. Doug Southgate says:

    George, you must have taken the photos close to the ferry landing, eh? I’ve been there many times, on my way to and from Victoria. What a beautiful place!

  2. says:

    Unbelievable. So cool George!

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. says:

    Yeaaaaaaaa Geo!!!Go Fords!

  4. Jeffrey Dingle says:

    We had a Skylark convertible in the 60s 👍🏼

    Was Si’s car.

    Then Libby got the Le Sabre convertible in the 70s. Remember when we piled in four or five of us to go to a concert at the Spectrum?

    Sent from myPhone


  5. Peter Ziesing says:

    George – many thanks – love the history lesson too – best, Zies

  6. Joe Knowles says:

    How the blithe Lark runs up the golden stair… A terrific look, George!

  7. burkebiz says:

    A rare sighting indeed: “extirpated”. P.S. It is not safe to twitter whilst ascending, unless you are POTUS. Even then, rapid descent while tweeting could mean the end.

    Sent from my iPhone – please excuse any typos.


  8. chasscrew says:

    Excellent- hope to see you soon! Anne

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. Mom says:

    Jeff D. is very helpful

  10. Mike O. says:

    Way to go George

  11. Dano Weisbord says:

    nice post! thanks G.


  12. My dad had a Buick Skylark once! Black with red interior I believe. White soft top convertible. Nice going Woodrow!

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

  13. Jim Buck says:

    The lengths of the earth you travel to to “get your bird” Woody… amazing! And, thank you for the lesson re importation of species and British poets. Somewhere, Chopper is smiling!

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