Blanford's Lark

Information about the Bird Blanford's Lark

Blanford's lark or Blanford's short-toed lark (Calandrella blanfordi) is a small passerine bird of the lark family, Alaudidae, which is native to north-east Africa and Arabia. Its common name commemorates the English zoologist William Thomas Blanford.

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.
They occur on open stony plains, often with bushes. In Arabia, it breeds between 1800 and 2500 metres above sea-level with some birds dispersing to lower ground in winter. The species is often seen in flocks outside the breeding season.
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.
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.

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