Reduction in numbers is no lark
This spectacular bird, found throughout the UK, is well-known for its vertical flight, often while singing a song in its highly distinctive voice.
Scotland had been well recognised as a safe haven for the Skylark with their numbers hovering steadily over the last decade.
RSPB Scotland, though, believes the Skylark’s waning numbers can be attributed to their traditional feeding habits; larks tend to feed from the ground and the harsh winter of 2010 led them to decrease dramatically as they cannot reach their food through the solid surface.
It’s estimated the population of Skylark’s has fallen by as much as 25% over the last couple of years – and the Scottish stranglehold on these wonderful birds has, sadly, loosened.
Changes in farming habits have contributed to the decline of the humble Skylark, and the use of pesticides has led to their voice being drowned out by irresponsibility and apathy.
It’s a sad state of affairs – so what can be done?
For amateur ornithologists it’s worth taking advice from a company like Vine House Farm who provide information on how to attract wild birds into your garden, which products to feed them, and when.
Skylarks traditionally feed on insects and seeds, so setting up a variety of delicious snacks on a bird table will tempt them into your garden; live mealworms and sunflower hearts are perfect and should keep them going through a particularly severe winter – and if you’re lucky they’ll even sing you a song!
Our feathered friends need all the help they can get to survive through the winter; I’ll be serving up more ornithological advice in the next few months – don’t fly off!