Cape clapper lark
|Cape clapper lark|
|Mirafra apiata in the Namaqua National Park|
It was previously considered conspecific with the eastern clapper lark.
The Cape clapper lark, Mirafra (apiata) apiata, is found in south-western South Africa, the Agulhas clapper lark, M. (a.) majoriae, in found in the southern Western Cape Province of South Africa as far east as Knysna.
Fry, Keith and Urban, in The Birds of Africa, regard M. apiata and the eastern clapper lark as forming a superspecies with M. rufocinnamomea, the flappet lark, which is found further north.
This lark is a 15 cm long bird, with a brown crown, rich rufous underparts, and a strong bill. The Cape clapper lark has grey upperparts and a grey face, and the Agulhas clapper lark has dark brown upperparts, although individual variation means that it cannot always be reliably distinguished from the nominate race.
The display commences with an ascending flight with wing flapping. The Cape clapper lark has a slower wing clap compared to the eastern clapper lark, and its otherwise similar call is longer and rises in pitch more. The Agulhas clapper lark has a fast wing clap, and a descending double whistled peeeooo call.
The Cape clapper lark is a skulking species, difficult to find when not displaying. It is not gregarious, and individuals tend to be seen in dry habitats feeding on the ground on seeds and insects.
- Sinclair, Hockey and Tarboton, SASOL Birds of Southern Africa, ISBN 1-86872-721-1
- Species text - The Atlas of Southern African Birds