Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Foxy Lark (Calendulauda alopex)


French: Alouette abyssinienne German: Fuchslerche Spanish: Alondra vulpina
Other common names: Abyssinian Lark

Mirafra alopex


, 1890,



Formerly placed in Mirafra, but genetic evidence situates it in present genus. Often treated as conspecific with disjunct C. africanoides, and indeed plumage differences#R and genetic distance#R both relatively small; further study may well support lumping. Nominate race commonly described as “very distinctive” and perhaps a “different species” (e.g. HBW), but in reality race macdonaldi, treated as a synonym of intercedens in HBW, is intermediate in plumage and hard to tell from the type of alopex (in NHMUK). Proposed race longonotensis (E Uganda, W Kenya) included in intercedens. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. alopex (Sharpe, 1890) – N Somalia and extreme E Ethiopia.
  • C. a. intercedens (Reichenow, 1895) – C, E & SE Ethiopia, immediately adjacent NW & SW Somalia, E Uganda, Kenya and N Tanzania.
  • C. a. macdonaldi (C. M. N. White, 1953) – S Ethiopia.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–16 cm; c. 24 g. Medium-sized lark with broad, extensive pale super­cilium that contrasts with darker ear-coverts and lores. Nominate race is distinctive, plain... read more


    Song (race intercedens) a short, hurried, rather thin verse, similar to that of C.... read more


    Almost invariably found on sandy soils. Nominate race in open grassland with scattered shrubs and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and seeds. Forages on ground.


    Breeds in Mar–Jun. Probably monogamous; occurs singly or in pairs throughout year. Male has short aerial display. Nest and eggs not... read more


    Probably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally common in suitable habitat.

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2020). Foxy Lark (Calendulauda alopex). 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 25 February 2020).