22 July 2012

Breeding Crested Larks – Dhahran Hills

Crested Lark is a common and widespread breeding resident in the Eastern Province with good numbers breeding in the Dhahran Hills are where I carry out most of my bird-watching activities. They prefer lightly vegetated semi-desert, waste ground and cultivation mainly in the coastal zone. The Dhahran Hills scrubby desert has ideal conditions for the species with waste land and lightly vegetated semi-desert abounding and as a result numerous pairs of the species breed there. Yesterday whilst bird-watching the area I found a very young juvenile Crested Lark feeding on insects by the edge of the scrubby desert area and the bird allowed close approach. One of its parents was looking on from a nearby rock to make sure all was well with its offspring. The nest is built on the ground in a depression, usually in close proximity to some sort of vegetation. Birds presumably have more than one brood as the first juveniles are seen from April onwards and this one being the end of June suggests double brooding.