Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Gray's Lark (Ammomanopsis grayi)


French: Ammomane de Gray German: Namiblerche Spanish: Alondra de Gray

Alauda grayi


, 1855,

between Kuiseb and Swakop Rivers, Damaraland, Namibia


Upperpart coloration closely linked to soil colour, darker in N; pale birds reappear on whitish sands in far N of range (S to extreme NW Namibia), perhaps an undescribed taxon. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. g. hoeschi (Niethammer, 1955) – coastal plain of SW Angola and NW Namibia (S to Cape Cross).
  • A. g. grayi (Wahlberg, 1855) – coastal plain of C & S Namibia.
  • Descriptive notes

    14 cm; male 19–27 g, female 17–23 g. Peculiar, compact desert lark with plain, unstreaked plumage, only slight hint of paler supercilium and darker eyestripe;... read more


    Male song, from ground or in display-flight, mostly before dawn or after dusk, a strange, very high... read more


    Gravel plains, clayey soils and saltflats with little or no vegetation other than scattered grass... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds, mostly of Stipagrostis grasses and various desert forbs, and other vegetable matter; also insects, including Hodotermes... read more


    Breeds mostly in Mar–Jun, in association with peak in late-summer rains, but scattered records throughout year suggest that breeding... read more


    Rather mobile on a very local scale; no evidence of systematic movements. Somewhat nomadic, with... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common. Most abundant in E part of the Namib, but occurs W all the way to the coast where suitable habitat available. A large proportion of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2019). Gray's Lark (Ammomanopsis grayi). 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 6 December 2019).