Family Larks (Alaudidae)


Sharpe's Lark (Mirafra sharpii)


French: Alouette de Sharpe German: Fahllerche Spanish: Alondra de Sharpe

Mirafra sharpii


, 1897,

Silo Plain, Somalia


Hitherto treated as conspecific with M. africana, although classified as an incipient species#R and considered likely to be split#R; differs from (other) races of M. africana by its rufous-brown vs blackish spots on breast (2); rufous-brown upperparts with buffy edges and no black streaking on crown (so that eponymous rufous nape indiscernible) (2); and virtually all-rufous wings and tail, feathers of latter notably narrow and therefore with little contrast created by black-centred rectrices in other taxa (3). Monotypic.


NW Somalia. Recorded once in E Ethiopia (Adigala), where status unknown#R.

Descriptive notes

c. 17 cm. Fairly large but short-tailed, robust lark with short erectile crest, almost entirely rufous flight-feathers forming prominent rufous panel on folded wing (and... read more


Not reported to differ from formerly conspecific M. africana. Song, given from tops of... read more


Restricted to open grassy plains within areas of broken or open dry woodland that receive 200–300... read more

Food and feeding

No information concerning diet, although food is presumably similar to that of M. africana or other congenerics, and foraging... read more


Virtually nothing known, but a singing male collected in mid Apr was in breeding condition.


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: basically confined to the North-west Somalia Secondary Area (given the recognition of M. sharpii at species level, the area... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Sharpe's Lark (Mirafra sharpii). 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 22 February 2020).