Lark, or Nauda, L. a genus of birds comprising twenty-eight species, of which the most remarkable are:
1. The arvensis, or Common Sky-laRk; a long-lived, and hardy bird, mounting high, raising its, notes as it soars, and lowering them as it descends. It is remarkable, that this, and the following species, are the only known creatures that sing during their flight.—The female sky-lark constructs her nest in fields productive of high grass, or in marshes, on the ground, benea.th some clod ; forming it of hay, dry fibres, etc.: she deposits four or five eggs, and produces young ones three, and often four times in a year.—In the neighbourhood of Dunstable, these birds are taken in great numbers, from the 14th of September to the 25 th of February; during which time about 4000 dozens are caught, to supply the markets of the metropolis.
2. The arborea, or Wood-LaRK, is distinguished by an annular white fillet about the head. It is of inferior size, and its notes are weaker and less musical. This little warbler, when in the cage, often strives to excel the nightingale; and, if not speedily removed from the place where he is suspended, will certainly fall a victim to emulation.
Wood-larks perch on trees, and their whistle resembles that of a black-bird ; the female builds her nest on the ground, and furnishes it externally with moss, but internally with dried bent-grass, etc. She lays five eggs, of a dusky colour, interspersed with deepbrown spots. The common food of young larks reared in an aviary, is a hen's egg boiled hard, and chopped or grated very fine, together with the crumb of bread, and hemp-seed; but, if diseased, a few wood-lice may be given them : a little liquorice, and a blade of saffron, may also be infused in their water, which will Contribute to their speedy recovery.
Method of catching Larks:—The usual practice of taking these birds is, by trammels, or a kind of nets, generally 36" yard in length, and about 6 yards in breadth, having six ribs of pack thread, which are fastened on two poles, about sixteen feet long. After selecting the darkest night for this sport, the net is to be drawn over the ground by two men, who frequently drop it, lest they should pass over the birds; as soon as the latter are perceived to fly up against the trammel, it is instantly clapped down, and thus the larks are secured.—This net is also well calculated for catching various other kinds of birds, such as partridges, quails, woodcocks, etc.