Cape clapper lark

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Cape Clapper Lark
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Alaudidae
Genus: Mirafra
Species: M. apiata
Binomial name
Mirafra apiata
(Vieillot, 1816)

The Cape Clapper Lark (Mirafra apiata) is a small passerine bird which breeds in southern Africa. It derives its name from the wing clapping which forms part of the display flight.

It was previously considered conspecific with the Eastern Clapper Lark.

The Cape Clapper Lark, Mirafra (apiata) apiata, is found in southwestern 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.

The Cape Clapper Lark is a species of open grassland and savanna, also inhabiting karoo, fynbos and fallow agricultural land.

Identification[edit]

This lark is a 15 cm long bird, with a brown crown, rich rufous underparts, and a strong bill. Cape Clapper Lark has grey upperparts and a grey face, and 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. Cape Clapper Lark has a slower wing clap compared to Eastern Clapper Lark, and its otherwise similar call is longer and rises in pitch more. Agulhas Clapper Lark has a fast wing clap, and a descending double whistled peeeooo call.

Behaviour[edit]

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.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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