Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Eastern Clapper Lark (Mirafra fasciolata)


French: Alouette fasciée German: Ostklapperlerche Spanish: Alondra aplaudidora oriental

Alauda fasciolata


, 1850,

Vaal River, Transvaal, South Africa


Previously treated as conspecific with M. apiata. Geographical differences broadly clinal; further study may lead to several races being subsumed, especially in N of range (where only small series of specimens obtained). Birds from W Botswana (Ngamiland and Kalahari) described as race kalaharica, but not consistently different from damarensis. Nominate formerly listed as rufipilea, but this name is apparently indeterminate. Name hewitti is a junior synonym of nominate, as is name deserti of damarensis#R. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. f. reynoldsi Benson & Irwin, 1965 – SW Zambia, N Namibia and N Botswana; probably also SE Angola.
  • M. f. jappi Traylor, 1962 – W Zambia.
  • M. f. nata Smithers, 1955 – NE Botswana.
  • M. f. damarensis Sharpe, 1875 – EC Namibia and W, E & S Botswana.
  • M. f. fasciolata (Sundevall, 1850) – C & E South Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–15 cm; 26–44 g. Medium-sized, compact lark with a fairly short, stout bill, indistinct weak supercilium, and distinctive wing-clapping display. Nominate race... read more


    Displaying male gives ascending whistle, “phooeeee”, similar to that of M. apiata... read more


    Tall grassland, often in rocky areas, in S; sparse, semi-arid grasslands in Kalahari Desert; grassy... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including termites (Isoptera) and ants, also other invertebrates; also seeds. Forages on ground. Occasionally follows aardvarks (... read more


    Season Sept–Feb. Monogamous and territorial. Displaying male rises steeply from ground and claps wings beneath body, uttering whistle... read more


    Probably resident, but subject to local movements in areas where habitat flooded seasonally and,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common and widespread in S of range; patchily distributed in N; is easily overlooked when not displaying. Although it has suffered habitat... read more

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2020). Eastern Clapper Lark (Mirafra fasciolata). 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 19 February 2020).