When the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote of the skylark (Alauda arvensis) 'Hail to thee, blithe spirit, bird thou never were't', he may well have had the exalted song of this species in mind. On a warm summer day, the sky can seem full of birdsong as the skylark seems to hang suspended somewhere overhead. This territorial display can last for as long as five minutes as the bird reaches the zenith of its flight and then slowly descends. The sexes are alike and the birds are streaky brown on the back and buff-white below with dark-brown streaking on the upper breast. The tail is brown with outer-tail feathers of white. There is a small up-turned crest on the back of the head, visible only when raised.
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