Family Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds (Locustellidae)

Least Concern

Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus mathewsi)


French: Mégalure de Mathews German: Rostbürzel-Schilfsänger Spanish: Yerbera de Mathews

Cincloramphus rufescens mathewsi


, 1911,

Yalgoo, Western Australia


Striking morphological differences from C. cruralis have suggested that this species may be better placed in a separate genus, for which the name Maclennania is available; however, this hypothesis is disproved by the available genetic data#R. Monotypic.


Australia, except most of Cape York Peninsula, Tasmania and arid interior of W: breeds S from 20° S (but chiefly S of Tropic of Capricorn) in SW Western Australia and in SE; non-breeding across much of interior and N parts of Australia.

Descriptive notes

Male 19–21 cm, 30–42 g; female 17–18 cm, 25–27 g. Rather insignificant sylviid, resembling a pipit (Anthus) but with bright rusty rump, tail... read more


Male song, from perch or in flight, uttered all day long in breeding season, an almost metallic... read more


Lightly wooded grassland, savanna and scrubby farmland, all with scattering of tall trees. Normally... read more

Food and feeding

Most of diet consists of small invertebrates, including spiders (Araneae) and a wide variety of insects and their larvae; various small... read more


Aug–Feb, in S New South Wales chiefly Oct–Dec; sometimes two broods. Strongly polygamous, some males mating with three or more... read more


Strongly migratory or nomadic; local breeding numbers fluctuate from year to year, suggesting a... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally quite common; rare and local along Pacific coast E of Great Divide. Owing to somewhat nomadic existence, more abundant at certain localities... read more

Recommended citation

Madge, S. (2019). Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus mathewsi). 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 11 December 2019).