Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Dune Lark (Calendulauda erythrochlamys)


French: Alouette à dos roux German: Rotdünenlerche Spanish: Alondra de las dunas

Alauda erythrochlamys


, 1853,

near Walvis Bay, Damaraland, Namibia


Race barlowi (with patae and cavei) commonly split as a separate species, but genetic differences minor#R, vocal differences tiny or non-existent, and published statistical differences in size#R driven by inclusion of C. albescens in tests (no differences when albescens excluded). Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. e. erythrochlamys (Strickland, 1853) – Dune Lark – WC Namibia, between R Kuiseb (Walvis Bay) and R Koichab (Lüderitz).
  • C. e. barlowi (Roberts, 1937) – Barlow's Lark – SW Namibia from S of R Koichab (inland of Lüderitz) E to Aus.
  • C. e. patae (Macdonald, 1953) – coastal sands from SW Namibia (Lüderitz) to extreme NW South Africa (Port Nolloth).
  • C. e. cavei (Macdonald, 1953) – inland part of coastal plain from extreme SW Namibia (S from Aus) to NW South Africa (R Holgat).
  • Descriptive notes

    17–18 cm (male 4–8% larger but 19% longer-billed); male 26–33 g, female 25–29 g. Long-legged, medium-sized lark with relatively plain plumage. Has... read more


    Male song, during aerial display or from ground or a bush, distinctive, a long series of 10–... read more


    Restricted to the Namib dune system and adjacent sandy riverbeds. Usually found in areas with at... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet a mix of insects, spiders and seeds. Insects include ants, termites (Isoptera), grasshoppers (Acrididae), beetles (Coleoptera),... read more


    Breeds opportunistically, after rain; recorded virtually throughout year, but mostly Jan–Apr; normally regarded as double-brooded,... read more


    Resident; three individuals were retrapped after 5–6 years at same locality as that where... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally fairly common, but always at relatively low densities. Patchily distributed; linked to distribution of vegetated dunes, and has relatively... read more

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2018). Dune Lark (Calendulauda erythrochlamys). 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 13 December 2018).