Brian Carruthers-Dublin-Eire has added a photo to the pool:
[order] Passeriformes | [family] Alaudidae | [latin] Galerida cristata | [UK] Crested Lark | [FR] Cochevis huppé | [DE] Haubenlerche | [ES] Cogujada Común | [IT] Cappellaccia | [NL] Kuifleeuwerik
spanwidth min.: 32 cm
spanwidth max.: 36 cm
size min.: 17 cm
size max.: 19 cm
incubation min.: 11 days
incubation max.: 13 days
fledging min.: 9 days
fledging max.: 12 days
eggs min.: 3
eggs max.: 6
17 cm in size with a wingspan of 30-38 cm. Medium sized lark, with long spiky crest on rear crown, portly character on ground stemming most from usually deep belly and rather short tail. Distinctly bulkier about head and body, with rather long, strong bill and rather short, broad tail. Plumage pattern and colors, stronger facial marks, heavy moustaches, more open chest streaks on paler ground, more uniform upperparts and buff outer tail feathers.
Variety of habitats, mainly open areas with sparse vegetation, also cultivated land and other man-made semideserts such as railways, airfields, and wastelands. Where it co-occurs with the Thekla lark, the crested lark occupies the plains, the Thekla inhabits rocky and bushy slopes.
Galerida cristata is a widespread resident across much of Europe (except the north), which accounts for less than half of its global range. Its European breeding population is very large (>3,600,000 pairs), but underwent a moderate decline between 1970- 1990. Although the species was stable overall during 1990-2000-with stable or increasing trends in south-eastern Europe compensating for declines farther north- its population has clearly not yet recovered to the level that preceded its decline.
Diet is mainly based on plant material and fewer invertebrates in winter. Most food taken from on or below ground surface. Digs with blows of bill to left and right. Will take insects by aerial-pursuit and stripping wings off before eating body.
This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 10,000,000 km². It has a large global population, including an estimated 7,100,000-15,000,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]
Nest on ground out in the open, or in shelter of low shrub or tussock, also under low bank. The nest is a shallow depression with untidy lining of grass or other vegetation. A new nest is built for each clutch by female only, taking 2-4 days. The 3-5 eggs are smooth and glossy, off-white to grey white,finely spotted and speckled buff-brown and grey. Incubation lasts about 11-13 days and is performed by female only, though male may stand covering the eggs while the female is away from nest.
Largely migratory in north of FSU breeding range. Mainly resident elsewhere; some dispersal occurs, but scale uncertain. Apparently sedentary in North Africa and Middle East, where birds show much subspeciation and adaptation of plumage colour to that of local soils.