Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Critically Endangered

Beesley's Lark (Chersomanes beesleyi)

Following the taxonomy applied to HBW Alive, derived from the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, this taxon is now lumped within Spike-heeled Lark (Chersomanes albofasciata).


French: Alouette de Beesley German: Beesleylerche Spanish: Alondra de Beesley
Other common names: Pygmy Spike-heeled Lark

Chersomanes albofasciata beesleyi


, 1966,

Masai Plains, north of Arusha, north Tanzania


Forms a superspecies with C. albofasciata; usually considered conspecific#R, but genetically distinct, widely separated geographically, and exhibits a degree of sexual plumage dimorphism. Monotypic.


N Tanzania: area just N of Mt Meru.

Descriptive notes

11 cm; male 27 g, female 22 g. Very distinctive lark with slender decurved bill, short tail with white tip, upright posture; very long and straight hind claw. Male has... read more


Quite high-pitched, slightly nasal chittering call, similar to that of C. albofasciata;... read more


Short-grass plains with no trees or shrubs, at 1400–1550 m. Apparently restricted to two... read more

Food and feeding

Stomach contents dominated by beetles (of families Curculionidae, Tenebrionidae and Buprestidae), but also contained caterpillars, a large... read more


Breeds during long and short rains, Oct–Dec and Mar–Apr. Chicks recorded as fed by at least two adults, but not known if a co-... read more



Status and conservation

Globally threatened. It might be Critically Endangered, although specific status currently nor recognized by BirdLife International. Entire world population confined to... read more

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2019). Beesley's Lark (Chersomanes beesleyi). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 February 2019).