Family Larks (Alaudidae)


Red Lark (Calendulauda burra)


French: Alouette ferrugineuse German: Kalaharilerche Spanish: Alondra roja

Ammomanes burra


, 1930,

Great Namaqualand, South Africa


Formerly placed in Ammomanes on basis of plain back and stout bill. Geographical variation in coloration and degree of upperpart streaking largely linked to soil type; brownish birds with streaked back (Brandvlei) named as race harei (a name preoccupied in current genus) and others with more heavily streaked underparts (Vanwyksvlei) as aridula, but all populations intergrade, and plain-backed and streak-backed birds breed together in some areas; further, despite some variation in cytochrome b sequences, haplotypes are mixed throughout population with exception of E dune form (“aridula”), which is also unusual in being the only one with any streaking on flanks. Monotypic.


Bushmanland, in NW & C Northern Cape and extreme N Western Cape, South Africa.

Descriptive notes

c. 19 cm (male 5–11% larger than female); male 37–43 g, female 32–38 g. Fairly large, chunky lark with long, heavy tail. Has whitish supercilium, dark loral... read more


Male song, in aerial display or from elevated perch or ground, a stereotyped short series of notes... read more


Sand dunes, including old, stabilized dunes, also clayey, shale-derived soils mostly on alluvial... read more

Food and feeding

Wide range of invertebrates, including beetles (Coleoptera), caterpillars, grasshoppers (Acrididae), ants, termites (Isoptera), spiders,... read more


Nesting records scattered through year, with peaks in Aug–Oct in W and Mar–May in E. Territorial and monogamous; occurs in... read more


Resident, but at least some local movement, possibly by immatures, indicated by occasional records... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Scarce to uncommon or locally common. Patchily distributed within a small range covering maximum area of 72,000 km2. Average density estimated at 1 pair/30 ha,... read more

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2019). Red Lark (Calendulauda burra). 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 17 November 2019).