Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Somali Lark (Mirafra somalica)


Taxonomy

French: Alouette de Somalie German: Somaliriesenlerche Spanish: Alondra somalí
Other common names: Somali Long-billed Lark
Taxonomy:

Certhilauda somalica

Witherby

, 1903,

Dibbit, Somalia

.

See M. hypermetra. Possibly allied to Certhilauda on basis of structure and undomed nest#R, but these could be result of convergence; smaller, darker race rochei, perhaps parapatric with nominate, has been suggested as perhaps a distinct species on basis of its wing-snapping display-flight, not so far recorded in nominate#R, which may therefore alone belong in Certhilauda; genetic studies required. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. s. somalica (Witherby, 1903) – N & NE Somalia (S to c. 3° N), including extreme E Ethiopia (Xaafuun Peninsula#R).
  • M. s. rochei Colston, 1982 – coast of C Somalia (2–3° N).
  • Descriptive notes

    19–22 cm; 44–50 g. Large reddish lark with long, slender bill; remininis­cent of Certhilauda, but with rufous edges of flight-feathers. Nominate race... read more

    Voice

    Undescribed; implication that nominate race has a long, clear whistle, similar to that of S African... read more

    Habitat

    Open grassland, often with open patches of red sand; may occur where there are occasional small... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet unknown. Feeds on ground. Runs rapidly when disturbed, often jumping up on to grass tufts to gain better vantage; when flushed, seldom... read more

    Breeding

    Little known. Breeding recorded in Jun in N and Sept in S. Apparently solitary or in pairs throughout year. Race rochei reported... read more

    Movements

    Probably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Reported to be fairly common. Poorly known species; fieldwork required in order to determine its true status, as well as its ecology and biology.

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2019). Somali Lark (Mirafra somalica). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/57604 on 21 November 2019).