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Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Lark - BirdForum Opus

Male left, Female right
Photo by volker sthamer
Awash, Ethiopia, August 2010
Eremopterix leucotis


Length 12-13 cm, mass 20-24 g
Adult male: Back and wings are chestnut, and the head is black with a large white ear patch and white nape patch.


Savannas of sub-Saharan Africa
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea and Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho



There are five subspecies:

  • E. l. melanocephalus
  • E. l. leucotis
  • E. l. madaraszi
  • E. l. smithi
  • E. l. hoeschi


Savanna with sparse grass cover, especially areas burnt recently; also cultivated lands.



It is a ground nester. The lay a single egg.


The diet includes insects and seeds.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  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. Sinclair, I and P Ryan. 2003. Birds of Africa South of the Sahara. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691118154

Recommended Citation

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