Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Oriental skylark

Alauda gulgula

James Franklin, 1831

In Thai: นกจาบฝนเสียงสวรรค์

The Oriental skylark (Alauda gulgula), also known as the small skylark, is a species of skylark found in the southern, central and eastern Palearctic . Like other skylarks, it is found in open grassland where it feeds on seeds and insects.

Taxonomy and systematics

The Oriental skylark was described by the English soldier and naturalist James Franklin in 1831 and given the binomial name Alauda gulgula. The meaning of the specific epthet gulgula is uncertain but is perhaps a reference to the song as gula is Latin for "throat".

Other alternate names for the Oriental skylark include eastern skylark, Indian skylark and lesser skylark.


Thirteen subspecies are recognized:

  • Kashmir skylark (A. g. lhamarum) or Kashmir small skylark - Meinertzhagen, R & Meinertzhagen, A, 1926: Found in the Pamir Mountains and western Himalayas
  • A. g. inopinata - Bianchi, 1905: Found on the Tibetan Plateau and north-western China
  • A. g. vernayi - Mayr, 1941: Found in the eastern Himalayas and south-western China
  • Western Oriental skylark (A. g. inconspicua) or Turkestan small skylark - Severtsov, 1873: Originally described as a separate species. Found from southern Kazakhstan to eastern Iran, Pakistan and north-western India
  • A. g. gulgula - Franklin, 1831: Found from north-central India to Sri Lanka and east to northern Indochina
  • A. g. dharmakumarsinhjii - Abdulali, 1976: Found in west-central India
  • A. g. australis - Brooks, WE, 1873: Originally described as a separate species. Found in south-western India
  • A. g. weigoldi - Hartert, 1922: Found in central and eastern China
  • A. g. coelivox - R. Swinhoe, 1859: Originally described as a separate species. Found in southern and south-eastern China, northern Vietnam
  • A. g. sala - R. Swinhoe, 1870: Originally described as a separate species. Found on Hainan Island (off south-eastern China)
  • A. g. herberti - Hartert, 1923: Found from central and eastern Thailand to southern Vietnam
  • A. g. wattersi - R. Swinhoe, 1871: Originally described as a separate species. Found in Taiwan
  • A. g. wolfei - Hachisuka, 1930: Found on Luzon (northern Philippines)


Oriental skylarks are about 16 cm long. They have streaked, yellow-brown upper plumage, with white outer tail feathers and a short crest. Both sexes are similar.

Behaviour and ecology

These skylarks frequently rocket up into the sky, fluttering and singing before descending down to earth. Male Oriental skylarks may also hover in the air and sing, in order to attract a mate.

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Category / Seasonal Status

BCST Category: Recorded in an apparently wild state within the last 50 years

BCST Seasonal status: Resident or presumed resident

Scientific classification

Alauda gulgula

Common names

  • Thai: นกจาบฝนเสียงสวรรค์

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Near Threatened (IUCN3.1)

Near Threatened (ONEP)

Near Threatened (IUCN3.1)

Near Threatened (BCST)


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Oriental skylark
Oriental skylark

Range Map

Distribution map of Oriental skylark, Alauda gulgula in Thailand
  • Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Phai District, Khon Kaen
  • Bang Ban District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Phra Non-Hunting Area
  • Bangkok Province
  • Borabue District, Maha Sarakham
  • Bueng Boraped Non-Hunting Area
  • Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Lo District, Chiang Mai
  • Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park
  • Doi Tao District, Chiang Mai
  • Fang District, Chiang Mai
  • Huai Chorakhe Mak Reservoir Non-Hunting Area
  • Huai Talat Reservoir Non-Hunting Area
  • Kabin Buri District, Prachinburi
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Kamphaeng Saen District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Kantharawichai District, Maha Sarakham
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khao Yoi District, Phetchaburi
  • Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani
  • Klaeng District, Rayong
  • Kumphawapi District, Udon Thani
  • Kut Thing Non-Hunting Area
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Mae Ai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Tha, Lampang District, Lampang
  • Mueang Buriram District, Buriram
  • Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mueang Khon Kaen District, Khon Kaen
  • Mueang Lampang District, Lampang
  • Mueang Lamphun District, Lamphun
  • Mueang Nong Khai District, Nong Khai
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Ratchaburi District, Ratchaburi
  • Mueang Suphanburi District, Suphan Buri
  • Mueang Surin District, Surin
  • Mueang Uttaradit District, Uttaradit
  • Nong Bong Khai Non-Hunting Area
  • Nong Ya Plong District, Phetchaburi
  • Pa Sak Chonlasit Dam Non-Hunting Area
  • Pa Sang District, Lamphun
  • Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pak Phli District, Nakhon Nayok
  • Pak Thale
  • Pak Thong Chai District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pha Daeng National Park
  • Rattanawapi District, Nong Khai
  • Sakaerat Environmental Research Station
  • Samut Prakan Province
  • Sop Prap District, Lampang
  • Taphan Hin District, Phichit
  • Tha Takiap District, Chachoengsao
  • Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani
  • Wapi Pathum District, Maha Sarakham
Range map of Alauda gulgula in Thailand