Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Stark's Lark (Spizocorys starki)


French: Alouette de Stark German: Falblerche Spanish: Alondra de Stark

Calandrella starki


, 1902,

Wilsonfontein, Damaraland, Namibia


Sometimes assigned to Eremalauda, but genetic evidence places it in present genus. Birds from C Namibia S to NW South Africa sometimes separated as race gregaria, but generally considered indistinguishable from those in rest of range. Monotypic.


Angolan coastal plain (S from Porto Amboim, in Cuanza Sul), Namibia, SW Botswana and NW South Africa.

Descriptive notes

13–14 cm; 16–22 g. Fairly small, very pale lark with erectile crest which, even when not raised, tends to make head appear slightly peaked; stout bill rather... read more


Male song, in flight, a long, rambling series of rather unmelodic chirps and trills, with... read more


Arid and semi-arid grassy plains, usually preferring gravels and hard limestone to sands. Often... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds, insects and green vegetable matter. In one study in C Namib Desert, seeds made up 77% of diet, with insects 19% and green vegetable... read more


Breeds opportunistically after rains, mostly Mar–May, but can occur at any time; typically starts 4–8 weeks after rain events,... read more


Nomadic; large flocks follow rain events.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to locally abundant in its core range, but occurrence erratic towards periphery. Densities difficult to assess because of nomadic behaviour; 5... read more

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2019). Stark's Lark (Spizocorys starki). 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 19 November 2019).