IS generally distinguished from other sorts of birds, by the long spur of his back toe, the earthy colour of his feathers, and his singing as he mounts up in the air. The common Sky-Lark is not much bigger than the house sparrow. He builds his nest sometimes in the plain under some high grass, and the tint of his plumage resembles so much the ground on which he hops along, that the body of the bird is hardly perceptible upon it. They breed thrice a year, in May, July, and August, rearing their young in a short space of time. Young nestlings may be brought up almost with any meat, but sheep’s heart and eggs chopped together seem to agree best with their stomachs. They are caught in great quantities in winter, and are reckoned a delicate food amongst our best dishes. It is a melancholy observation, that man should feed upon, and indulge his sense of taste with, those very birds who have so often delighted the sense of hearing with their songs, when they usher to the gladened creation the return of their best friend, the sun. Thomson gives us a most pleasing description of this little creature:
– Up springs the Lark,
Shrill-voic’d and loud, the messenger of morn;
‘Ere yet the shadows fly, he, mounted, sings
Amid the dawning clouds, and from their haunts
Calls up the tuneful nations.