Red Lark Calendulauda burra

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Identification

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A medium-large, chunky lark that has a rounded head lacking a crest, a short strong bill, a bold face pattern, and a heavily blotched chest. Color often matches the prevailing soil color in the region, varying from brick-red in areas of red sand dunes to rusty-brown in areas of shale and clay plains. Pairs are localized residents in the semi-arid Karoo, preferring dunes and sandy areas. Males sing from bushes, and in spring have a protracted aerial display 10 to 15 meters up in the air, with deep wingbeats and fanned tail. The call is a strident series of repeated “triiiiik” notes, and song a distinctive brief warble that is often repeated at short intervals. The Karoo Lark is smaller, browner, and daintier than the Red Lark, with a higher-pitched, faster song.

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