© Olivier Langrand Macaulay Library ML 179165721
© Jeffrey Anderson
© Zak Pohlen
© Shailesh Pinto
© Stephen Gast

Rudd's Lark Heteromirafra ruddi

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A small, stocky lark with an upright posture, a large head, and a short narrow tail. The back is spangled with tawny, black, and, white, and the head is boldly marked with a conspicuous eyebrow, an eye-ring, and a diagnostic pale central crown stripe. The throat and belly are plain, with the buff-washed breast diffusely streaked. Pairs are very local in heavily grazed short grassland between 1600-2000 meters of elevation. Males have a protracted aerial display, fluttering into the wind and dangling in the sky, in limbo, for up to 40 minutes. The easiest way to find Rudd’s Lark is when it is singing its distinctive song on the ground or in display, generally a short buzzy phrase of 3-5 (up to 8) notes, repeated several times a few seconds apart before the bird changes to a new variation, such as “Bee-dzip-pliieeep-DZREEE”, “Dr-rik-plip-SEEE” or “Krieek-kreee-OEEE.”