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Eastern Clapper Lark - BirdForum Opus

Photo by balticbird
Kimberley, South Africa, November 2006
Mirafra fasciolata


Length 12-15 cm, mass 22-44 g.

This Lark has a stocky build and a short, stout bill; plumage coloration is varies geographically, upper parts can be predominantly rufous-tawny, sandy-rufous, ash-grey, or grey-brown.
It is most easily identified by its distinctive display flight - it climbs steeply while clapping its wings, whistles a long, clear phooee at the top of the climb, and then parachutes to the ground.


Graphic by Nrg800

South Africa, western Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, south-eastern Angola and western Zambia.



Mirafra fasciolata has five subspecies[1]:

  • M. a. fasciolata:
  • M. a. reynoldsi:
  • M. a. jappi:
  • M. a. nata:
  • M. a. deserti:

Has been considered conspecific with Cape Clapper Lark as Clapper Lark.


Grassland, shrubby grassland, and short shrubland (fynbos, renosterveld and Karoo).


Generally singly or in pairs. Difficult to flush, preferring to run from intruders.


Forages on the ground, mainly for insects, but also for seeds.


Territorial and probably monogamous. The nest is a domed or partly domed structure built of grass on the ground. Two to three eggs are laid September to March. The chick leaves the nest after about 11 days, before it is able to fly.


  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 http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Dickinson E.C. (ed.) 2003. The Howard & Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. 3rd ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691117010
  3. 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
  4. Sinclair, I and P Ryan. 2003. Birds of Africa South of the Sahara. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691118154

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