Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Monotonous Lark (Mirafra passerina)


French: Alouette monotone German: Sperlingslerche Spanish: Alondra monótona

Mirafra passerina


, 1926,

Damaraland, Namibia


Sometimes grouped with M. albicauda, M. cheniana and M. javanica (with cantillans), but genetic data indicate closer relationship to M. williamsi#R (and presumably M. pulpa, which is untested to date). Monotypic.


S Angola E to SW Zambia and W Zimbabwe, S to C Namibia, Botswana and NC & NE South Africa.

Descriptive notes

14 cm; 21–28 g. Medium-small, compact, stout-billed lark with relatively plain, unmarked face. Has buffy supercilium barely contrasting with buffish-brown ear-coverts;... read more


Male song a short series of rapid, rather croaky notes run together, variously rendered as “... read more


Favours rather arid savanna and woodland, including mopane (Colophosper­mum mopane)... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, spiders and seeds. Feeds on ground.


Breeds during summer rains, Oct–Mar, with peak in Jan. Probably monogamous. Advertising male sings incessantly, day and night, from... read more


Poorly known. Relatively few records outside breeding season, leading to speculation by some... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to locally abundant after rains; up to 2 pairs/ha in favoured areas. Status at other times of year difficult to assess, as species is probably... read more

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2019). Monotonous Lark (Mirafra passerina). 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 12 November 2019).