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.
open scrub, semi-cultivation, fallow river basins, tidal mudflats.
grass seeds, tiny insects.
almost entire India, south of Himalayan foothills; moves during the rains; uncommon in heavy rainfall areas.
pleasant, monotonous trilling song by male; sings on wing and on ground.