Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-tailed Lark (Ammomanes phoenicura)


French: Ammomane à queue rouge German: Rotschwanzlerche Spanish: Terrera colirroja

Mirafra phoenicura


, 1831,

Vindhya Hills between Benares and Gurrah Mundela on the Narbudda, India


Has been considered conspecific with A. cinctura, but is more similar morphologically, vocally and in habitat choice to A. deserti, and is probably more closely related to that species. Birds from S India often separated as race testacea#R. Monotypic.


NE Pakistan (probably irregular) and most of India (except NW, N & NE).

Descriptive notes

c. 16 cm. Rather robust and quite strong-billed, fairly dark and featureless lark. Adult is plain dark brown-grey above, faint paler supercilium; wings dark grey-brown with... read more


Song, from ground or low perch such as rock, or in low flight, 2–3 simple notes, given one at... read more


Dry, open habitats with sparse vegetation; often found together with other species, such as ... read more

Food and feeding

Food poorly studied: seeds, for instance of grasses and cereals, and invertebrates, e.g. beetles (Coleoptera). Forages on ground.


Feb–May, chiefly Mar and Apr. Male song flight of brief duration, at low level, undulating on horizontal flightpath, similar to that... read more


Mostly sedentary; apparently somewhat nomadic in non-breeding season.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common; common in N part of Indian range. No population estimates. Status in Pakistan uncertain; possibly only erratic visitor during monsoon... read more

Recommended citation

Alström, P. (2018). Rufous-tailed Lark (Ammomanes phoenicura). 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 18 March 2018).