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Cape Long-billed Lark - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Certhilauda curvirostris)
Certhilauda curvirostris
Photo by safariranger
Papendorp, Western Cape, South Africa, December 2006


Length 20-24 cm, mass 50-60 g
A large lark with a distinctive long, decurved bill.
Upper parts are grey-brown with dark streaks and the underparts (including belly and flanks) are white with dark brown streaks.


Coastal western South Africa, and extreme south-western Namibia.



Certhilauda curvirostris has two subspecies:

  • C. c. falcirostris
  • C. c. curvirostris
  • Coastal plain of south-western South Africa (north of Cape Town as far as Olifants River)

Cape Long-billed Lark, Agulhas Long-billed Lark, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Karoo Long-billed Lark and Benguela Long-billed Lark were previously considered a single species.3


Coastal shrublands and dunes with sparse vegetation; also croplands (when sparsely vegetated) and roadsides.


Usually in pairs. Walks on the ground while foraging for insects and seeds; turns over stones and digs in the soil.


Monogamous and territorial. The nest is a cup of grass, sometimes with a partial dome; it is built on the ground at the base of a bush, grass tuft or stone. Usually three eggs are laid.


The male sings from a perch, the ground, and while in aerial display. The call is a loud descending whistle peeeuuu lasting about a second (repeated every 8-15 seconds while perched).


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist.
  2. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  3. Sibley, CG and BL Monroe. 1996. Birds of the World, on diskette, Windows version 2.0. Charles G. Sibley, Santa Rosa, CA, USA.

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