LARKS of THE WORLD

Order Passeriformes    Family Alaudidae


Larks
have more elaborate calls than most birds. These melodious sounds (to human ears) have ensured larks a prominent place in literature and music, especially the Skylark in northern Europe and the Crested Lark and Calandra Lark in southern Europe.

Most species build nests on the ground, usually cups of dead grass, but in some species more complicated and partly domed. Like many ground birds, most lark species have long hind claws, which are thought to provide stability while standing. Most have streaked brown plumage, some boldly marked with black or white. Their dull appearance camouflages them on the ground, especially when on the nest. They feed on insects and seeds; though adults of most species eat seeds primarily, Many species dig with their bills to uncover food. Some larks have heavy bills for cracking seeds open, while others have long, down-curved bills, which are especially suitable for digging.

Similar to: Pipits. Larks are stouter than pipits. Top of lark's bill is curved versus the flatter surface of a pipit's bill.


Genus Alaemon

Lark, Greater Hoopoe-  Alaemon alaudipes   Found: north Africa, south Asia through India
The Greater Hoopoe-Lark has sandy gray upperparts; buffy white breast with spots; dark eye-line and whisker-type line; down-curved bill.
Image by: 1) Sumweet Moghe  2) The Belurs  3, 4) Tarique Sani



Genus Alauda

Skylark also Sky Lark  Alauda arvensis  Found: west North America, Europe, Asia, Africa
The Skylark has grayish-brown upperparts; whitish supercilium; streaked upper-breast; whitish lower-breast, belly.
Image by:  1) Wilhelm von Wright  2) Daniel Pettersson  3) Hiyashi Halso  4) Sergey Yeliseev - Cyprus   5, 6) Omar Runolfsson - Denmark



Skylark, Oriental
  Alauda gulgula  Found: Asia
Image by: 1, 2) J M Garg - Kolleru, Andhra Pradesh, India. 


Skylark, Raso   Alauda razae   Found: Raso inlet on Cape Verde Islands
The Raso Skylark has short black and brown streaks on the upperparts; whitish underparts.
Image by: 1) Justin Welbergen



Genus Ammomanes

Lark, Desert   Ammomanes deserti    Found; northern Africa, southern Asia to Pakistan
The Desert Lark has sand-colored upperparts; pale grayish-pink underparts; thick bill with yellow base; reddish-brown tail.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Rachid H - Egypt



Lark, Rufous-tailed  Ammomanes phoenicurus  Found: India
Image by: 1, 2) J M Garg in Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh, India.



Genus Ammomanopsis - 1 species

Lark, Gray's   Ammomanopsis grayi   Found: Angola, Namibia
The Gray's Lark has pale upperparts; white underparts; no streaking.
Image by: 1) Alastair Rae



Genus Calandrella

Lark, Greater Short-toed  Calandrella brachydactyla  Found: southern Europe, northwest Africa, Asia
The Greater Short-toed Lark has dark streaked grayish-brown upperparts; white underparts; pale supercilium; sometimes a rufous crown.
Simillar to: Lesser Short-toed Lark. Greater Short-toed Lark has longer bill than Lesser Short-toed Lack which has stubbier bill.
Image by: 1) Hiyashi Haka  2, 3) JV Verde - Portugal  4) Augtin Povendano


Lark, Hume's   Calandrella acutirostris   Found: Asia
Image by: 1) Francesco Veronesi


Lark, Lesser Short-toed  Calandrella rufescens  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Lesser Short-toed Lark has dark streaked grayish-brown upperparts; white underparts; pale supercilium; shorty stubby bill; fine streaking across breast.
Simillar to: Greater Short-toed Lark. Greater Short-toed Lark has longer bill than Lesser Short-toed Lack which has stubbier bill.
Image by: 1, 2) Juan Emilo  3) Andrej Chudy


Lark, Red-capped  Calandrella cinerea  Found; Africa
The Red-capped Lark has streaked gray to brown upperparts (subspecies dependent); rufous cap, shoulders; white underparts, supercilium.
Image by: 1) William Nortje  2) Blake Matheson  3) Ian White  4) Joseph Mochoge - Gilgil, Kenya


Lark, Sand  Calandrella raytaFound: south Asia
The Sand Lark has faintly streaked dull grayish-brown upperparts; short tail; fine bill.
Image by: 1) Vijay Ismavel



Genus Calendulauda
Some of these red-backed species were formerly considered part of genus Mirafra.

Lark, Dune  Calendulauda erythrochlamys  Found: Namibia
The Dune Lark has dune red upperparts; no streaking; pale underparts.
Image by:   1, 2, 3) Jerry Oldenettel


Lark, Fawn-colored Calendulauda africanoides   Found: Africa
The Fawn-colored Lark has fawn colored (light brown) upperparts; whitish underparts; white supercilium.
Image by: 1, 2) Jo Mur - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park  3, 4) Joseph Mochoge - Gilgil, Kenya


Lark, Foxy   Calendulauda alopex   Found: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia
Image by: 1) Carol Foil - Kenya


Lark, Karoo Calendulauda albescens Found: South Africa
The Karoo Lark hasstreaked reddish upperparts; streaked breast, flanks.
Similar to: Red Lark. Karoo Lark has more extensive streaking on underparts than Red Lark.
Image by: 1) Andrew Smith  2) Alan Manson


Lark, Red   Calendulauda burra   Found: South Africa, Namibia
The Red Lark has red upperparts; streaked breast; white belly, flanks; thick bill.
Similar to: Karoo Lark. Karoo Lark has more extensive streaking on underparts than Red Lark.
Image by: 1)  Alan Manson - South Africa


Lark, Sabota  Calendulauda sabota  Found: Africa
The Sabota Lark has a bold white supercilium.
Image by: 1) Charlie Westeinen in Namibia  2) Frank Vassen



Genus Certhilauda
The long-billed larks have long, slender, down-curved bills.

Lark, Agulhas Long-billed   Certhilauda brevirostris   Found: South Africa
The Agulhas Lark has heavily streaked upperparts and lowerparts. It has long, slender, down-curved bill.
Image by: 1) Ragnhild Crawford


Lark, Cape   also   Cape Long-billed Lark   Certhilauda curvirostris   Found; South Africa
The Cape Lark has heavily streaked upperparts and lowerparts; white throat. It has long, slender, down-curved bill.
Image by: 1) Andrew Smith


Lark, Eastern Long-billed  Certhilauda semitorquata  Found: Africa
The Eastern Long-billed Lark has reddish-brown upperparts with little streaking; pale underparts with streaked breast; white throat. It has long, slender, down-curved bill.
Image by: Alan Manson - South Africa


Lark, Karoo Long-billed   Certhilauda subcoronata   Found: Namibia, South Africa
The Karoo Long-billed Lark has reddish-brown upperparts with little streaking; pale underparts with streaked breast; white throat. It has long, slender, down-curved bill.
Image by: 1) Johann du Preez - Zambia  2) Ian White  3) Alan Manson - South Africa 


Lark, Short-clawed   Certhilauda chuana   Found; Botswana, South Africa
The Short-clawed Lark has light colored upperparts with darker streaking; long thin bill; yellowis- tinged buffy underparts with light streaking on upper-breast. It has long, slender, down-curved bill.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Ian White



Genus Chersomanes - 1 species

Lark, Spike-heeled  Chersomanes albofasciatFound: Asia
Photograhed by:  1) Ian White  2) Jerry Oldenettel - Namibia   3) Alast air Rae  4) Mike Richardson - South Africa  5, 6) Francesco Veronesi - Namibiai



Genus Chersophilus - 1 species

Lark, Dupont's  Chersophilus duponti  Found: Spain, France, north Africa
Dupont's Lark has brown upperparts; streaked breast; white belly, sides of tail.
Image by: 1) Mike Prince - Morocco



Genus Eremalauda

Lark, Dunn's Eremalauda dunni Found: northern Africa
The Dunn's Lark has pale streaked sandy-brown upperparts; whitish underparts with some dark streaks on breast; pale supercilium, eye-ring; large and heavy pinkish or yellowish bill.
Image by: 1) Marcel Holyoak - Israel



Genus Eremophila

Lark, Horned also Shore Lark Eremophila alpestris   Found: North America, Europe, Asia
The Horned Lark has mainly gray-brown upperparts; whtish underparts; black and yellow face pattern; mostly black tail. Summer male has black horns.
Similar to: American Pipit. Juvenile Horned Lark is similar to American Pipit.
Similar to: Chestnut-collared Longspur. Horned Lark has black stripe on chin; Chestnut-collared Longsput does not.
Similar to: Temminck's Lark. Horned Lark has yellow in its face pattern; Temminck's Lark has black and yellow face pattern.
Image by:  1) Sergey Yeliseev - Russia  2) Dick Daniels   - the North Carolina Zoo  3) Teddy Llovet - California   4) Sandy Cole - NC Zoo  5) Andreas Trepte  6) Alan D. Wilson - Palouse Falls, Washington
1) Juvenile 



Lark, Temminck's  Eremophila bilopha   Found: northern Africa
The Temminck's Lark has reddish -gray-brown upperparts; whie underparts with black breast-band; black and white face pattern.
Similar to: Horned Lark. Horned Lark has yellow in its face pattern; Temminck's Lark has black and yellow face pattern.
Image by: 1) Nicholas Le Jeune  2) Frode Falkenberg - Morocco



Genus Eremopterix
The Sparrow-larks belong to the lark farmily but have sparrow-like appearance.

Lark, Ashy-crowned Sparrow-  Eremopterix grisea  Found: Asia
Image by:  1, 2) J M Garg
1) Female  2) Male


Lark, Black-crowned Sparrow- Eremopterix nigriceps Found: northern Africa, southern Asia to India
The male Black-crowned Sparrow-lark has black crown, underparts; white forehead, cheeks; sand colored upperparts. Female has rufous-buff upperparts, breast; whitish nape; pale belly.
Image by: 1, 2, 3) Cesare Dolzani - Yemen  4) ChriKo
1, 2) Female 3, 4) Male


Lark, Black-eared Sparrow-   Eremopterix australis   Found: southern Africa
The male Black-eared Sparrow-Lark has dark rufous upperparts; black underparts, head; lighter ear coverts. Female has lighter rufous upperparts; streaked underparts.
Image by 1) Andrew Smith  2) Alan Manson - South Africa
1) Female left; Male right


Lark, Chestnut-backed Sparrow-  Eremopterix leucotis  Found: Africa
The male Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lack has chestnut back, wings; black head with white cheeks; black underparts. Female has mottled chestnut upperparts; streaked buff-white underparts; black lower-belly; white nape collar.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya   2, 3) Alan Manson KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa 4, 5) Arno Meintjes



Lark, Chestnut-headed Sparrow-  Eremopterix signatus  Found: Africa
The male Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark has black collar, bib; white cheeks, mini crown; chestnut nape. Female has duller plumage.
Similar to: Fischer's Sparrow-Lark. Male Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark has white mini crown; male Fischer's Sparrow-Lark has brown crown. Female Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark has some black on belly; female Fischer's Sparrow Lark has white belly.
Image by: 1, 2) George Lodge
1, 2) E. s. harrisoni


Lark, Fischer's Sparrow- Eremopterix leucopareia   Found: Africa
The male Fischer's Sparrow-Lark has white cheeks; black collar, line down center of underparts
Similar to: Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark. Male Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark has white mini crown; male Fischer's Sparrow-Lark has brown crown. Female Chestnut-headed Sparrow-Lark has some black on belly; female Fischer's Sparrow Lark has white belly.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Daniele Columbo - Kenya   3, 4) Dick Daniels in Tanzania
1, 2) Female  3, 4) Male


Lark, Gray-backed Sparrow-   Eremopterix verticalis   Found: Africa
image by: 1, 2) Ian White - Botswana  3) Johann du Preez - Botswana



Genus Galerida

Lark, Crested Galerida cristata  Found: Europe, Asia, Africa
The Crested Lark has grayish-brown upperparts, breast; whitish underparts; distinct crest; reddish under-wings visible in flight.
Similar to: Malabar Lark. Crested Lark has grayish-brown upperparts. Malabar Lark has reddish-brown upperparts.
Image by: 1) J M Garg - India  2) Valternet - Portugal  3) Valter Jacinto - Portugal  4) Jose Sousa - Portugal


Lark, Large-billed also Southern Thick-billed Lark Galerida magnirostris  Found: Africa 
Image by: 1) Francesco Veronesi  2, 3) Dick Daniels near De Hoop Nature Reserve, South Africa   3)


Lark, Malabar  also Malabar Crested Lark  Galerida malabarica   Found:  western India
The Malabar Lark has reddish-brown upperparts, breast; whitish belly; distinct crest.
Similar to: Crested Lark. Crested Lark has grayish-brown upperparts. Malabar Lark has reddish-brown upperparts.
Image by: 1) Sandeep  2) Sivam Design  3) Sergey Yeliseev


Lark, Sun   Galerida modesta   Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Ron Knight


Lark, Sykes's  Galerida deva  Found: India
Image by: Nidhin Poothully


Lark, Thekla  Galerida theklae  Found: Europe (Spain), northern Africa
The Thekla Lark has grayish-brown upperparts; streaked breast; whitish belly; crest.
Image by: Johann Friedrich Naumann



Genus Lullula - 1 species

Woodlark  also Wood Lark  Lullula arborea  Found: Europe, Asia
The Woodlark has brown upperparts; white supercilium; belly; streaked breast; short tail.
Image by:1) Magnus von Wright  2) Rodrigo_de_Almeida




Genus Melanocorypha

Lark, Bimaculated  Melanocorypha bimaculata  Found: Turkey to central Asia
The Bimaculated Lark has streaked gray upperparts; white underparts, supercilium; 2 small black patches on the breast sides (whence its name). In flight it has gray-brown wings from below; short tail with white tip but not white edges.
Image by: 1, 2) Tsrique Sani


Lark, Black   Melanocorypha yeltoniensis  Found: Asia
The male Black Lark has black plumage wih pale fringing on its back; yellowish or pinkish bill. Female has mainly dark-blotched gray upperparts; paler underparts.
Image by: 1) Dave Curtis - Wales (rare ) 2, 3) Francesco Veronesi - Kazakistan


Lark, Calandra  Melanocorypha calandra  Found: Europe, Asia
The Calandra Lark has streaked grayish-brown upperparts; white underparst, supercilium; black patches on sides of lower neck.
Image by: 1) Gustav Duran  2) Durzan Cirano  3) Francesco Veronesi - Spain  4) Vitalii Khustochka - South Ukraine
1) Juvenile


Lark, Mongolian   Melanocorypha mongolica  Found: China, Mongolia, Russia
The Mongolian Lark has brown upperparts; broad white eye-ring; white line extending behind eye; white throat; black neck band.
Image by: 1) Momotarou2012   2) Punkmorten - Beijing Zoo
1) Museum specimen in Tolkyo


Lark, White-winged  Melanocorypha leucoptera  Found: Asia
The White-winged Lark has streaked brown upperparts; whitish underparts. Adult male has chestnut crown. In flight it has black outer flight feathers; white inner flight feathers; rest of wing chestnut.
Image by: 1) Johann_Friedrich_Naumann  2) Francesco Veronesi - Kazakistan



Genus Mirafra

Bushlark, Bengal   Mirafra assamica    Found: southeast Asia, Indian subcontinent
The Bengal Bushlark has dark-streaked gray upperparts; buff underparts with spotting on breast; pale supercilium.
Similar to: Jerdon's Bushlark. Bengal Bushlark has darker upperparts than Jerdon's Bushlark.
Image by: 1, 2) JM Garg - West Bengal  3) Savi.odl


Bushlark, Jerdon's  Mirafra affinis  Found: India
The Jerdon's Bushlark has grayish-brown upperparts; buff underparts with spotting on breast; pale supercilium.
Similar to: Bengal Bushlark. Bengal Bushlark has darker upperparts than Jerdon's Bushlark.
Image by: 1) Mohan Kemparaju - India  2) Yathin  3) Sandeep Somasekharan


Bushlark, Indian  Mirafra erythroptera Found: south Asia, mainly India
The Indian Bushlark has grayish-brown upperparts; buff underparts with spotting on breast; pale supercilium continues to lores.
Similar to: Jerdon's Bushlark. Indian Bushlark has longer tail and shorter legs, bill than Jerdon's Bushlark.
Image by: 1) Balaji Venkatesh  2) Prashanth


Bushlark, Rufous-winged  Mirafra assamica  Found: India
Image by: 1, 2) J M Garg - Kolkata, West Bengal, India
    Formerly the Bengal race of Rufous-winged Bushlark


Lark, Cape Clapper  Mirafra apiata  Found: southern Africa
The Cape Clapper Lark derives its name from its wing clapping which forms part of its display.
Similar to: Flappet Lark. Cape Clapper Lark is found in the south and western parts of southern Africa; Flappet Lark is found in eastern part of southern Africa.
Image by: 1) Alan Manson - South Africa


Lark, Flappet  Mirafra rufocinnamomea  Found: Africa
The Flappet Lark derives its name from its wing clapping which forms part of its display.
Similar to: Cape Clapper Lark. Cape Clapper Lark is found in the south and western parts of southern Africa; Flappet Lark is found in eastern part of southern Africa.
Image by: 1) Herbert Goodchild  2) Hans Olfsson - Uganda  3) Joseph Mochoge - Gilgil, Kenya


Lark, Gillett's   Mirafra gilletti   Found: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia
Image by: 1) Henrik Gronvold


Lark, Kordofan  Mirafra cordofanica   Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Joseph Wolf


Lark, Madagascar  Mirafra hova  Found: Madagascar
Image by: 1) Fred Leviez  2, 3) Dick Daniels - near Morondava, Madagascar


Lark, Melodious   Mirafra cheniana   Found: Africa
The Melodious Lark has white supercilium, throat; buffy underparts with streaking on beast.
Image by: 1) Andrew Smith


Lark, Pink-breasted  Mirafra poecilosterna  Found: Africa
Image by: Carol Foil - Samburu District, Kenya


Lark, Red-winged   Mirafra hypermetra Found: Africa
The Red-winged Lark has rufous primary flight feathers; may have dark patches on sides of breast.
Similar to: Rufous-naped Lark. Rufous-naped Lark found above 1300 meters; Rufous-winged found below 1300 meters.
Image by: 1) Joseph Mochoge - Eburu Kenya  2) Peter Steward - Kenya  3) Frederic Salein - Kenya


Lark, Rufous-naped  Mirafra africana  Found: Africa
Rufous-naped Lark has rufous primaries (readily visible when in flight); rufous crown.
Similar to: Rufous-winged Lark. Rufous-naped Lark found above 1300 meters; Rufous-winged found below 1300 meters.
Image by: 1, 2)  Carol Foil - Rift Valley, Kenya  3, 4) Joseph Mochoge - Eburu Kenya


Lark, Singing Bush-  Mirafra cantillans  Found: Africa, south Asia
The Sing Bush-Lark has whitish supercilium, tail edges; whitish underparts with spotted streaks.
Immge by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans   2, 3, 4) Dick Daniels - Nairobi National Park, Kenya  5) Joby Joseph


Lark, Somali  Mirafra somalica   Found: Somalia
Image by: 1) Herbert Goodchild



Genus Pseudalaemon - species

Lark, Short-tailed  Pseudalaemon fremantlii  Found: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Tanzania
The Short-tailed Lark has  a long bill; short tail; white supercilium; black vertical line below eye.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Demetrius Kessy - Tanzania



Genus Rhamphocoris - 1 species

Lark, Thick-billed   Rhamphocoris clotbey   Found: dry areas of northern Africa
The Thick-billed lark has a huge bill; gray upperparts. Sides of male head dark with some white patches.
Image by: 1) Alfosse - Morocco
1) Male



Genus Spizocorys

Lark, Masked  Spizocorys personata  Found: Ethiopia, Kenya
The Masked Lsark has a gray head with dark mask, mustache.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya


Lark, Pink-billed  Spizocorys conirostris  Found: Africa
The Pink-billed Lark has a stout pink bill; white supercilium, throat. Subspecies vary from pale (image 1) to deep rufous.
Image by: Ron Knight


Lark, Stark's Spizocorys starki Found: southern Africa
Image by: 1) Alastair Rae 





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