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Dune Lark

From Opus

Photo by Holdt Max HoldtSossusvlei, Namibia, May 2005
Photo by Holdt Max Holdt
Sossusvlei, Namibia, May 2005
Calendulauda erythrochlamys

Certhilauda erythrochlamys


[edit] Identification

Length 16-18 cm, mass 25-33 g. A medium-sized lark; appears slightly longer-legged than other larks.

The upper parts are sandy-rufous and unstreaked. Under parts white with light rufoius streaking. Face plain with whitish eyebrow, dark brown eye-stripe and indistinct brown malar stripe.

[edit] Distribution

West-central Namibia between River Kuiseb (Walvis Bay) and River Koichab.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1]. Some authorities include Barlow's Lark in Dune Lark as several extra subspecies.

Formerly placed in genus Calendulauda.

[edit] Habitat

Thinly vegetated dunes, Namib Desert.2

[edit] Behaviour

Usually seen alone, in pairs, or in small groups.

[edit] Diet

Forages on and between dunes for invertebrates and seeds, often digging in the sand for the latter. Not observed drinking water.

[edit] Breeding

Monogamous and territorial. The nest is a cup of grass (usually domed) built by the female, and lined with finer material; it is built in a depression dug in the sand at the base of a plant at the top or on the side of a hummock or dune. One or two eggs are laid at any time of the year after rain, and incubated for 13-14 days by the female. The nestling period is about 13 days and the young leave the nest before they are able to fly.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at
  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

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