Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Short-clawed Lark (Certhilauda chuana)


French: Alouette à ongles courts German: Akazien-Langschnabellerche Spanish: Alondra chuana

Alauda chuana

A. Smith

, 1836,

north of Latakoo, Northern Cape, South Africa


Closely related to the “C. curvirostris complex”. Monotypic.


SE Botswana and South Africa (adjacent Northwest and Limpopo Provinces, in latter including isolated population on Polokwane Plateau).

Descriptive notes

17–19 cm; 44 g (male ­appreciably larger than female). Fairly large, slender lark with prominent pale creamy supercilium, boldly spangled upperparts. Feathers of... read more


Male song, in aerial display or from perch, a single ascending whistle, “poooeeee”;... read more


Rather arid acacia (Acacia) savanna on granitic soils; avoids Kalahari sands. Found in... read more

Food and feeding

Diet includes variety of insects, e.g. grasshoppers (Acrididae), beetles (Coleoptera), caterpillars, termites (Isoptera) and ants, also... read more


Laying Sept–Mar (mostly Oct–Dec), associated with start of summer rains; usually two broods, sometimes more. Monogamous, but... read more


Resident. Constant dialectal differences in voice in SE Botswana suggest limited dispersal; colour-... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common in Botswana; scarce in South Africa, where classified as “Near-threatened” in Red Data list for that country.... read more

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2020). Short-clawed Lark (Certhilauda chuana). 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 26 February 2020).