Adult © Stephan Terblanche
Adult © Hendrik Swanepoel
Juvenile © Daniel Jauvin
Adult © Josh Engel

Monotonous Lark Mirafra passerina

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A medium-small, compact lark with a small bill, a plain face, and an indistinct eyebrow. It has streaky upperparts with a distinct rufous wing panel and a lightly-streaked buffy chest that separates the white throat from the pale belly. Its movement patterns are poorly understood; it is nomadic, appearing unpredictably in large numbers to breed after rain. The male sits on perches, incessantly singing a croaking, gurgling, distinctive four-note “for-syrup-is-sweet” song every 3-5 seconds for hours on end, day and night, earning it its name. When singing, the male stretches its neck, puffs out its whitish throat feathers, and raises a small crest. Occasionally the male rises up 5-10 meters in the air on rapidly flapping wings, sings, and parachutes back down to a prominent perch. The similar Latakoo Lark is smaller than the Monotonous Lark, with a bolder facial pattern including an eyebrow, and a different song and display.