The greater short-toed lark is a small passerine bird. The current scientific name is from Ancient Greek. The genus name, ''Calandrella'', is a diminutive of ''kalandros'', the calandra lark, and ''brachydactila'' is from ''brakhus'', "short", and ''daktulos'', "toe".
It breeds in southern Europe, north-west Africa, and across temperate Asia from Turkey and southern Russia to Mongolia. During migration they form large, tight flocks that move in unison; at other times they form loose flocks.