A medium-sized lark with a rounded head lacking a crest; a slender, slightly decurved bill; a bold face pattern; and heavy streaks on the underparts that reach the flanks. Color varies from dull brown to rusty, often matching prevailing soil color in the region. Pairs are resident in semi-arid Karoo, dry fynbos, and coastal shrublands, preferring to dig in sandy areas for insects. The male sings from bushes, and in spring has a protracted aerial display 10 to 30 meters up in the air, with deep wingbeats, fluttering, and dangling legs. The call is a strident series of repeated “tiiik” notes, and song a distinctive brief warble that is often repeated at short intervals. The slightly larger and plainer Barlow’s Lark lacks the flank streaking present on Karoo Lark, and Red Lark is larger and bulkier, with a deeper, slower song.