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Karoo Lark - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Mike Barth
Western Cape, South Africa, October 2014
Calendulauda albescens

Certhilauda albescens


16-17 cm (6¼-6 in), mass 26-33 g.
A heavily streaked, medium-sized lark
The white eyebrow and throat contrast with the heavily streaked breast
Slightly de-curved bill

Similar Species

The heavy streaking, especially that on the flanks, helps to distinguish this from other larks.


South Africa; west coast to southern interior.


Formerly placed in genus Certhilauda.


Four subspecies are recognized1,2:

  • C. a. albescens:
  • South West Cape Province (Cape Town to Berg River)
  • C. a. codea:
  • C. a. guttata:
  • Cape Province (Clanwilliam to Little Namaqualand)
  • C. a. karruensis:
  • Cape Province (Calvinia and Williston to Oudtshoorn)


Usually found in areas with sandy soils, with shrubs and other vegetation.



Generally seen in pairs, foraging on the ground for invertebrates and seeds; also eats fruit, leaves and flowers.


Monogamous and territorial. The nest is a cup with an open dome, built using plant material on the ground under a tuft of grass or shrub. Two to four eggs are laid July-November, often in response to rain.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  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. Sinclair, I and P Ryan. 2003. Birds of Africa South of the Sahara. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691118154
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved December 2018)

Recommended Citation

External Links

Search for images using Calendulauda albescens

Search for images using Certhilauda albescens (none at time of edit June 2021)