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Lesser Short-toed Lark - BirdForum Opus

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Photo © by Steve G
Alaudala rufescens

Calandrella rufescens


Dark-streaked greyish-brown above, and white below. It has a pale supercilium, and a short stubby bill. At least in the Iberian Peninsula, the distinct breast streaking contrasts sharply with the white lower breast (like Pectoral Sandpiper).


Spain, north Africa, Turkey, Mongolia and China.


16 subspecies of Lesser Short-toed Lark are recognized[1]:

  • A.r. rufescens
  • A.r. polatzeki
  • A.r. apetzii
  • A.r. minor
  • A.r. nicolli
  • A.r. pseudobaetica
  • A.r. persica
  • A.r. heinei
  • A.r. cheleensis
  • A.r. leucophaea
  • A.r. niethammeri
  • A.r. kukunoorensis
  • A.r. seebohmi
  • A.r. beicki
  • A.r. stegmanni
  • A.r. tangutica


Dry open country, preferring dry and bare soils.


It nests on the ground, laying 2-3 eggs.

Diet includes seeds and insects, the latter especially in the breeding season.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdforum thread discussing the id of this species

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