Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Bengal Bushlark (Mirafra assamica)


French: Alouette d’Assam German: Bengalenlerche Spanish: Alondra de Assam
Other common names: Rufous-winged Lark, Bengal Lark

Mirafra Assamica


, 1840,

Assam, India


Relationship with African congeners unknown. Formerly treated as a polytypic species, including M. affinis, M. erythrocephala and M. microptera, but differs from all these in vocalizations, song-flight, other aspects of behaviour and habitat choice. Probably hybridizes with M. affinis over a limited area in NE India#R. Mitochondrial DNA data suggest “M. assamica complex” is non-monophyletic, since M. erythroptera is nested within this group, and also that the various taxa diverged a considerably longer time ago than is indicated by the rather small morphological differences (pairwise genetic divergences in the cytochrome b gene 11.7–15.1%). More distantly related to M. javanica. Monotypic.


N India and S Nepal E to Bhutan, Bangladesh and extreme W Myanmar.

Descriptive notes

16 cm. Heavy-bodied lark with large bill, short tail and wings, rather long legs. Has buffish supercilium (greyish-white when plumage worn); rather dark brown-grey or grey-... read more


Song a characteristic monotonous repetition of a thin, slightly harsh, squeaky, disyllabic note,... read more


Open grassland and fields in plains, generally, but not necessarily, with scattered bushes and... read more

Food and feeding

Diet poorly known; includes seeds and invertebrates.


Little studied. Mar–Aug, mainly May and Jun. Male has high, undulating, sustained song flight, flies in random “circles... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread and locally common throughout range. No population estimates.

Recommended citation

Alström, P. (2020). Bengal Bushlark (Mirafra assamica). 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 20 February 2020).