Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-capped Lark (Calandrella eremica)


French: Alouette de Peters German: Jemenlerche Spanish: Terrera capirrufa

Spizocorys eremica

Reichenow and J. L. Peters

, 1932,

Bet en Naâm, Yemen


Hitherto treated as conspecific with C. blanfordi, but differs genetically#R as well as in its smaller size (effect size for wing 3; score 2); lower rump and uppertail-coverts not (or only slightly) shaded rufous vs strongly rufous (2); much paler above, including colour of crown and shade of buff and brown streaking and colour of flight-feathers (2); greatly reduced dark markings on underparts (i.e. blackish half-collar much less obvious, breast and belly only lightly washed buff vs strongly washed rufous), so white of throat and supercilium far less striking (2); bill generally much paler (at least on specimens) (ns[1]). Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. e. eremica (Reichenow & J. L. Peters, 1932) – SW Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
  • C. e. daaroodensis C. M. N. White, 1960 – NE Ethiopia and N Somalia.
  • Descriptive notes

    12·5–13·5 cm. Medium-sized lark, adult with rufous crown feathers sometimes erected to form prominent short crest. Sexes alike. Juvenile undescribed, probably similar to... read more


    Song (nominate race), in flight, described as repeated “chew” notes mixed with call-like notes and... read more


    Open short grassland and bare ground, including stony areas, including flattish areas with sparse... read more

    Food and feeding

    Probably takes a wide variety of seeds and small invertebrates, but diet practically unrecorded other than an observation of an adult... read more


    Comparatively few data, mostly from Arabia, where singing and nestbuilding but also fledged juveniles have been observed in Mar–May and... read more


    Resident, probably subject to local movements, e.g. species descends to lower altitudes in winter... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common, with perhaps 50,000 pairs in Arabia, where the range has apparently contracted in N (Taif, Ashaira and Rakba),... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Rufous-capped Lark (Calandrella eremica). 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 7 December 2019).