Williams's lark

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Williams's lark
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Alaudidae
Genus: Mirafra
Species: M. williamsi
Binomial name
Mirafra williamsi
Macdonald, 1956

Williams's lark (Mirafra williamsi) is a species of lark in the family Alaudidae. Discovered in 1955, much of its life and ecology is still a mystery to ornithology.[2]

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

The bird is named after John George Williams (1913–1997) a British ornithologist who was curator of the Coryndon Museum in Nairobi, Kenya (now called the National Museums of Kenya).[3] Alternate names for Williams's lark include Marsabit lark and Williams's bush lark.[4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

In general, the natural habitat of M. williamsi is subtropical or tropical dry shrubland. Its range is restricted to northern Kenya where it is found in two disjunct populations:

One population is located north of Marsabit, in the Didi Galgalla desert, a region marked by plains of rocky, red lava soils and patches of short-grass and bushes.[2]

The other inhabits a particular area (elevated between 600 m and 1,350 m) lying between Isiolo and Garba Tula. It has even, unbroken communities of Barleria shrubs.[2]

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

The males of the species perform long, drawn-out, conspicuous song-flights above their territories after the rains at dawn, making them easy to find at this time.[2]

Food and feeding[edit]

Williams's larks consume various seeds and insects.[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Mirafra williamsi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Compilers: Jeremy Bird, Stuart Butchart; Mike Evans; Pete Robertson; Malcolm Starkey; Andy Symes; Contributor: B Finch (2008). "Williams's Lark – BirdLife Species Factsheet". Evaluators: Jeremy Bird, Stuart Butchart, Alison Stattersfield. BirdLife International . Retrieved May 9, 2009. 
  3. ^ Beolens, Bo (2003). Whose Bird? Men and Women commemorated in the common names of birds. London: Christopher Helm. p. 368. ISBN 0-7136-6647-1. 
  4. ^ "Mirafra williamsi – Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2016-12-10.