Family Larks (Alaudidae)


Botha's Lark (Spizocorys fringillaris)


French: Alouette de Botha German: Finkenlerche Spanish: Alondra de Botha

Alauda fringillaris


, 1850,

Leeuspruit, Vredevort, Free State, South Africa


Sometimes placed in monospecific Botha, but recent genetic research confirms close relationship to S. conirostris#R. Monotypic.


E Free State, E Gauteng and SW Mpumalanga, in NE South Africa.

Descriptive notes

13–14 cm; 16–21 g. Fairly small, compact lark with heavily dark-streaked upperparts. Has creamy or buffy supercilium, dark eyestripe, pale brown ear-coverts... read more


Male song, from ground or in flight, a rather dry “tchiree” or “teez-rrr”.... read more


Short upland grassland, usually on clay soils. Favours well-drained, heavily grazed areas with... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds and insects; all identifiable prey delivered to chicks were small insects, including beetles (Coleoptera) and moths (Lepidoptera).... read more


Nov–Jan. Monogamous; nests solitarily, although inter-nest distance sometimes less than 50 m. Male aerial display, with slightly... read more


Resident; local movement in response to fires.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in South African Grasslands EBA. Maximum range covers c. 43,000 km2, within which it is thinly distributed and patchy; recorded... read more

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2019). Botha's Lark (Spizocorys fringillaris). 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 9 December 2019).