Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Lesser Hoopoe-lark (Alaemon hamertoni)


French: Sirli de Witherby German: Somaliläuferlerche Spanish: Alondra de Hamerton

Alaemon hamertoni


, 1905,

Obbia, Somalia


See A. alaudipes. Link with Certhilauda postulated by some authors. Geographical variation may be clinal; identity of birds in NE Somalia unknown, tentatively placed with alter. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. h. tertius S. R. Clarke, 1919 – inland in NW Somalia.
  • A. h. alter Witherby, 1905 – N & NE Somalia.
  • A. h. hamertoni Witherby, 1905 – coast of C Somalia, extending inland to Ethiopian border in N.
  • Descriptive notes

    17–21 cm. Large, slender lark with uniform plumage, long bill and legs. Has plain face apart from faint paler super­cilium; virtually plain above, pale grey-brown,... read more




    Open grassland, favouring tussock grass; generally avoids areas with any shrubs or trees. No known... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet likely to consist largely of insects. Feeds on ground, running rapidly and covering large distances. Behaviour and gait like those of... read more


    Recorded in May–Jun. Probably monogamous; usually observed in pairs. Has distinctive display-flight, parachuting back to ground on... read more


    Apparently resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally common. Poorly known species.

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2019). Lesser Hoopoe-lark (Alaemon hamertoni). 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 9 December 2019).