Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Greater Hoopoe-lark (Alaemon alaudipes)


French: Sirli du désert German: Wüstenläuferlerche Spanish: Alondra ibis

Upupa alaudipes


, 1789,

between Gafsa and Tozeur, Tunisia


Differs from A. hamertoni in nest and display behaviour; relationship untested genetically#R. Geographical variation rather slight; size increase partially clinal from W to E. Nominate race and doriae intergrade in Middle East. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. a. boavistae E. J. O. Hartert, 1917 – Cape Verde Is (Boavista, Maio).
  • A. a. alaudipes (Desfontaines, 1789) – Sahara Desert (from S Morocco S to Mauritania, N & C Mali, C Niger, C & E Chad and N Sudan) E to Syria, Jordan and N Arabia.
  • A. a. desertorum (Stanley, 1814) – Red Sea coasts from E Sudan (Port Sudan) S to NW Somalia, and from C Saudi Arabia (Jeddah) S to S Yemen (Aden).
  • A. a. doriae (Salvadori, 1868) – Iraq and E Arabia E to Pakistan and adjacent extreme NW India.
  • Descriptive notes

    19–23 cm, including bill c. 3–3·5 cm; male 39–47 g (alaudipes), 47–51 g (doriae), female 30–39 g (alaudipes),... read more


    Very characteristic song, given in acrobatic flight display, a series of uniform, melodious and... read more


    Desert or semi-desert, in open plains or rolling terrain, with sandy soils and sparse vegetation... read more

    Food and feeding

    Chiefly invertebrates, some small vertebrates; also some seeds and green material. Main invertebrate groups taken differ regionally,... read more


    Season geographically variable, related to rainfall patterns; Oct–Mar in Cape Verde Is; Feb–Jul, but also Oct (after... read more


    Usually sedentary; territorial throughout year. Some individuals leave territories in dry years,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common and widespread in most countries within its extensive range, as in Cape Verde Is, much of N Africa and Middle East, parts of Saudi Arabia,... read more

    Recommended citation

    de Juana, E. & Suárez, F. (2019). Greater Hoopoe-lark (Alaemon alaudipes). 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 16 December 2019).