Lullula arborea

Castilian: Alondra totovía

Catalan: Cotoliu

Gallego: Cotovía pequena

Euskera: Pirripioa


Orden: Passeriformes

Family: Alaudidae

Migratory status: Permanent resident


On the National List of Threatened Species, it appears in the “Of Special Interest” category. In the 2004 edition of the Red Book of Spanish Birds (Libro Rojo de las Aves de España) it is listed as “Not Evaluated”.

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The loss of habitat due to agricultural intensification, the disappearance of certain agricultural and livestock systems, and the abandonment of pastures.

Length / size: 15 cm / 27-30 cm

Identification: Lark with cryptic colours, a small crest, a short and dark tail with white external tail feathers, a white and black spot on the front edge of its wings, and a very contrastive facial pattern.

Song: The song is just one verse whose beginning is slow but later speeds up and deepens.

Diet: It feeds on invertebrates, such as insects and spiders, during summer, and grains the rest of the year.

Reproduction: It is a solitary and territorial species whose breeding period begins in March. It nests in a depression in the ground, under a bush or hidden in the grass, and the nest is covered with grass and feathers. The female incubates the eggs.


It prefers mosaics of pastureland and scrubland or scattered trees, or open woods.


In Spain: Distributed throughout the peninsula, although it is rare in the arid areas of the southeast, the Guadalquivir Valley and the Cantabrian coast.

In Castile and León: It is distributed throughout the entire community, although it is rare in the mountainous areas and treeless regions of the interior.

Movements and migrations: There are populations from northern Europe and the northern peninsula that are migrant and spend in the winter in the southern half of Spain and in northern Africa. The spring passage takes place between February and March, and the autumn one between October and November.


In Spain: There is an estimated population of 560000-1.3 million breeding pairs.

In Castile and León: