Morphology, Diet Composition, Distribution and Nesting Biology of Four Lark Species in Mongolia
Mongolian Journal of Biological Sciences
We aimed to enhance existing knowledge of four lark species (Mongolian lark, Horned lark, Eurasian skylark, and Lesser short-toed lark), with respect to nesting biology, distribution, and diet, using long-term dataset collected during 2000-2012. Nest and egg measurements substantially varied among species. For pooled data across species, the clutch size averaged 3.72 ± 1.13 eggs and did not differ among larks. Body mass of nestlings increased signifi cantly with age at weighing. Daily increase
... ng. Daily increase in body mass of lark nestlings ranged between 3.09 and 3.89 gram per day. Unsurprisingly, the majority of lark locations occurred in steppe ecosystems, followed by human created systems; whereas only 1.8% of the pooled locations across species were observed in forest ecosystem. Diet composition did not vary among species in the proportions of major food categories consumed. The most commonly occurring food items were invertebrates and frequently consumed were being beetles (e.g. Coleoptera: Carabidae, Scarabaeidae, and Curculionidae) and grasshoppers (e.g. Orthoptera: Acrididae), and their occurrences accounted for 63.7% of insect related food items. Among the fi ve morphological traits we measured, there were signifi cant differences in wing span, body mass, bill, and tarsus; however tail lengths did not differ across four species.