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Karoo Long-billed Lark - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Mybs
Photo taken: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa. Uploaded to the Gallery as the pre-split C. curvirostris. This is a Karoo Long-billed Lark, probably C. s. bradshawi
Certhilauda subcoronata


Length 18-22 cm, mass 35-47 cm. A large lark with a long, decurved bill. Upper parts are dark brown in the south to reddish in the north, streaked darker; streaking more marked in the south. Under parts whitish, streaked dark brown on the breast.


Inland central and southern Namibia and western South Africa.


Certhilauda subcoronata has four subspecies:1,2

  • C. s. bradshawi
  • C. s. damarensis
  • C. s. subcoronata
  • C. s. gilli

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


Semi-arid shrublands and grassy shrublands (karroid vegetation); usually rocky or stony areas.


Usually seen alone or in pairs. Forages on the ground for invertebrates and seeds; also eats fruit and small corms.


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).


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


  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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