Family Larks (Alaudidae)


Rudd's Lark (Heteromirafra ruddi)


French: Alouette de Rudd German: Transvaalspornlerche Spanish: Alondra de Rudd

Heteronyx ruddi

C. H. B. Grant

, 1908,

Wakkerstroom, Mpumalanga, South Africa




NE & E South Africa: C & S Mpumalanga to N KwaZulu-Natal, and extreme NE Eastern Cape & SW KwaZulu-Natal.

Descriptive notes

14–15 cm; 26–27 g. Peculiar lark with very short thin tail, extremely long hind claw, rather slender bill extending up forehead almost as “shield” (... read more


Male song, usually in aerial display, sporadically also from ground, a buzzy series of 3–8 (... read more


Moist montane grassland, at 1600–2200 m, in areas where annual rainfall predictably exceeds... read more

Food and feeding

Caterpillars, grasshoppers (Acrididae), beetles (Coleoptera), other insects, also seeds. Feeds on ground, walking quickly for a few paces,... read more


Breeds Nov–Feb. Monogamous; territorial, with adjacent nests at least 100 m apart. Displaying male circles 20–30 m over... read more



Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Previously listed as Critically Endangered and Vulnerable. Restricted-range species: present in South African Grasslands EBA. Occurs as several isolated... read more

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2020). Rudd's Lark (Heteromirafra ruddi). 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 21 February 2020).