Skylarks on wires

To: "'Philip Veerman'" <>, "'birding-aus'" <>
Subject: Skylarks on wires
From: "Stephen Ambrose" <>
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2019 16:58:28 +1100

My understanding is the long hind claws act as snowshoes by allowing skylarks to walk on top of dense grass clumps without sinking into them.


Stephen Ambrose

Ryde NSW


From: Birding-Aus <> On Behalf Of Philip Veerman
Sent: 10 February 2019 4:13 PM
To: 'birding-aus' <>
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Skylarks on wires


Quote from   “Like many ground birds, most lark species have long hind claws, which are thought to provide stability while standing.“


The idea handed down from Anthea truly is amusing. I wonder how using a long hind toe would achieve a result and why it would be of benefit. If a bird’s nest is discovered or disturbed such that there would be benefit in moving, the most likely outcome is eggs / chicks will be eaten.




You must have had a very good education. My teachers wouldn’t have known a skylark from a sparrow!


John Leonard



On Sun, 10 Feb 2019 at 13:59 Anthea Fleming <m("","flambeau");">> wrote:

In my schooldays, I was told that the Skylark's long back toe enabled the bird to move its eggs to a new nest-site, if the old one was discovered or disturbed.
 I have no idea if this is true.

Traditional version of the Skylark's song:
There's not a shoemaker on the earth
can make a shoe to me, to me!
Why so? why so? why so? why so?
Because my heel's as long's my toe!

Anthea Fleming


From: Geoffrey Dabb [m("","gdabb");">]
Sent: Sunday, 10 February, 2019 9:46 AM
To: 'Chris Gregory'; 'Philip Veerman'
Cc: 'birding-aus'
Subject: RE: [Birding-Aus] Skylarks on wires


…………….. I came across one later while looking for a photo of a Skylark in colourful swamp-marsh growth, for a talk.  Werribee is a good place for Skylarks, perhaps the Australian headquarters.  I do also have a photo of a Skylark on a post.  Also on barbed wire showing its remarkably long hind-claws. So far as I can find in the books, the purpose of these is unknown. Perhaps someone on this list will know.






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