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Passeriformes > Alaudidae

Benguela Lark

Certhilauda benguelensis

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Identification

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A large, slender lark with a long, thin decurved bill and long legs. Features can be variable, but generally it has rufous upperparts, a grayish back of the neck, and a lightly streaked chest. It strides purposefully through dry desert grassland, running quickly before pausing to dig in soil or pick at shrubs for invertebrate prey, seeds, or fruit. In a characteristic display the male flies low to the ground before flying directly up 10-15 meters in the air, then closing its wings and plummeting back to earth while typically emitting a two-note “hit-seeeoooouuu” whistle, the second note descending. This call and similar ones can also be given from the ground. Most larks in the same range are smaller and more compact, with smaller bills and shorter legs. As the similar-looking long-billed larks have separate ranges, location is a key factor in identification.

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Benguela Lark

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