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Blanford's Lark

Found in: Birds of Saudi Arabia


'''Blanford's Larkor Blanford's Short-toed Lark'(Calandrella blanfordi) is a small passerine bird of the lark family, Alaudidae. It occurs in north-east Africa and Arabia. Its name commemorates the English zoologist William Thomas Blanford. It was formerly included in either the Greater Short-toed Lark (C. brachydactyla) or the Red-capped Lark (C. cinerea'') but is now commonly treated as a separate species. Erlanger's Lark (C. erlangeri) is sometimes included in this species.

It is 14-15 centimetres long. The upperparts are pale sandy-brown with some darker streaking and the crown is rufous. The underparts are pale and plain apart from a small dark patch on the side of the neck made up of vertical streaks. The Greater Short-toed Lark is similar but has a greyer, more-streaked crown. Erlanger's and Red-capped Larks have darker upperparts with more streaking and a darker rufous crown. Erlanger's Lark has larger dark neck-patches while in Red-capped Lark the patches are rufous.

Blanford's Lark has a sparrow-like flight-call. The song is given in a circular song-flight and includes a mixture of chew-chew-chew-chew notes and fluid phrases.

There are three subspecies: C. b. blanfordi in Eritrea, C. b. daaroodensis in northern Somalia and C. b. eremica in Yemen and south-west Saudi Arabia. They occur on open stony plains, often with bushes. In Arabia it breeds between 1,800 and 2,500 metres above sea-level with some birds dispersing to lower ground in winter. The species is often seen in flocks outside the breeding season.

References

(2007) Birds of the Palearctic: Passerines, HarperCollins, London.

(2003) Whose Bird?: Men and women commemorated in the common names of birds, Christopher Helm, London.

(1988) Birds of the Middle East and North Africa, T & AD Poyser, Calton, England.

(2003) Birds of Africa south of the Sahara, Struik, Cape Town.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Blanford's Lark