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Mediterranean Short-toed Lark - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Yeray
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).


Iberian Peninsula, Canary Islands, north Africa, Middle East.


Subspecies apetzii
Photo © by Steve G
Lucio del Lobo, Donana, Spain, April 2004

This species was formerly included in Lesser Short-toed Lark sensu lato.


Three subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • A.r. rufescens
  • Canary Islands (Tenerife, where perhaps extirpated, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote)
  • A.r. apetzii
  • A.r. minor


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, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdforum thread discussing the id of this species

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External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.