Jerdon's bush lark

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Jerdon's bush lark
M affinis.jpg
A juvenile near Bangalore, India
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Alaudidae
Genus: Mirafra
Species: M. affinis
Binomial name
Mirafra affinis
Blyth, 1845
range in bright green
  • Mirafra assamica affinis

Jerdon's bush lark (Mirafra affinis) or Jerdon's lark is a species of lark in the family Alaudidae found in south Asia.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

The common name commemorates the surgeon-naturalist Thomas C. Jerdon.[2]

Formerly, Jerdon's bush lark was considered to be a subspecies of the Bengal bush lark (as M. assamica affinis) until studies of differences in call and distribution led to it being treated as a separate species.[3] However, not all authorities recognize this species split.[4]


Adult bird in Bangalore, India

Jerdon's bush lark has arrowhead-like spots pointing upwards on the breast. It is very similar to the Indian bush lark (M. erythroptera) but has buffy lores, less white behind ear coverts, darker center to wing coverts and central tail feathers. Dark centers of primary coverts are prominent, and wing panels are duller and rufous. In the southern Western Ghats, the race ceylonensis is darker and more rufous on the underside and has a longer bill.[5] Jerdon's bush lark has paler, greyish-brown underparts.

The song of Jerdon's bush lark is a dry rattle given from its perch.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Jerdon's bush lark has a large range in south-east India and Sri Lanka, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 100,000-1,000,000 square kilometers.[6]

It has proven adaptable to a variety of open habitats up to a maximum elevation of 1500 m. Some of these are forest perimeters, rocky scrubland, scrubby hill meadows and clearings in open-type forests, shrub-edged unused croplands, and thickets of bamboo.[6]

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

Singing from a perch at Bandipur, India

Its song-flight is indistinguishable from that of the Indian bush lark, However, unlike the aforementioned species, Jerdon's bush lark often perches on trees and wires.[5]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Mirafra affinis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael (2003). Whose Bird? Men and Women Commemorated in the Common Names of Birds. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 180–181. 
  3. ^ a b Alström, Per (1998). "Taxonomy of the Mirafra assamica complex" (PDF). Forktail. 13: 97–107 . Archived from the original (PDF) on March 7, 2008. Retrieved May 1, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Mirafra affinis - Avibase". Retrieved 2016-11-28. 
  5. ^ a b P.C. Rasmussen & J.C. Anderton (2005). Birds of South Asia. The Ripley Guide. Lynx Edicions. 
  6. ^ a b Compiler: Helen Temple (2008). "Jerdon's Bushlark - BirdLife Species Factsheet". Evaluators: Jeremy Bird, Stuart Butchart, Helen Temple. BirdLife International . Retrieved May 9, 2009. 

External links[edit]