Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Thick-billed Lark (Ramphocoris clotbey)


French: Alouette de Clot-Bey German: Knackerlerche Spanish: Calandria picogorda

Melanocorypha clot-bey


, 1850,

Egyptian Desert




Deserts of NW Africa (Western Sahara, extreme N Mauritania, S & SE Morocco, W & interior N Algeria, C & S Tunisia, NW Libya), C Jordan and N Saudi Arabia; occasionally S Israel#R#R and Kuwait#R, and probably S Syria#R.

Descriptive notes

17–18 cm; male c. 52–55 g, female c. 45 g. Rather large lark with heavy head, huge deep-based bill laterally compressed distally (with small tooth in lower... read more


Male song, from ground or in flight, a jingling series described both as soft and rather quiet... read more


Borders of deserts, including true desert, with annual rainfall less than 200 mm; prefers flat or... read more

Food and feeding

Seeds, invertebrates and green plant material. In Western Sahara takes ants, other insects, and some seeds; in W Algeria and NC Sahara... read more


Lays Feb–May. Song-flighting male apparently rises to considerable height, and descends by parachuting in zigzag. Nest a shallow... read more


Resident; mostly nomadic in non-breeding season, normally in small parties, although flocks of up... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Relatively small breeding range highly discontinuous and imperfectly known. Widespread and frequent to sparse in NW Africa, where... read more

Recommended citation

de Juana, E. & Suárez, F. (2020). Thick-billed Lark (Ramphocoris clotbey). 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 17 February 2020).