Scientific Name: Eremopterix griseus
Name: Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark
Thickish beak. Male: sandy-brown above; white cheeks and sides of breast; dark chocolate-brown sides of face and most of underbody; dark brown tail with whitish outer feathers. Female: sandy-brown overall; dull rufous sides of face and underbody. Mostly loose flocks, scattered over an area; pairs or small parties when breeding; feed on ground; fond of dusty areas, where large numbers may squat about; sandy colouration makes it impossible to spot the birds, but when disturbed, large numbers suddenly take wing; superb display flight of male.
Size in cm:
Size in Inch
gray (Bird may have more colors)
grass seeds, tiny insects, small beetles .
Habit and habited:
open scrub, semi-cultivation, fallow river basins, tidal mudflats.
Song is a short flute-like tweedle-deedle-deedle followed by a drawn-out whistle wheeh.
The ashy-crowned sparrow-lark (Eremopterix griseus) is a small sparrow-sized member of the lark family. It is found in the plains in open land with bare ground, grass and scrub across South Asia. The males are well marked with a contrasting black-and-white face pattern, while females are sandy brown, looking similar to a female sparrow. Males are easily detected during the breeding season by the long descending whistle that accompanies their undulating and dive-bombing flight displays.
Sparrow sized with a finch-like bill and short legs, these birds are usually seen sitting on the ground, and although they will sometimes perch on wires they do not perch in trees or bushes. The male is sandy brown overall with a black belly, chin, lower lores and eye stripe. The top of the head is ashy (although the base of these crown feathers are dark) unlike the dark brown to black in the black-crowned sparrow-lark which partly overlaps with the range of this species in the arid zone of India and Pakistan. The female is pale brown and very similar to a female house sparrow, although the legs are much shorter and appearing stockier and shorter-necked.