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Calendulauda africanoides (Fawn-coloured lark) 

[= Mirafra africanoides

Vaalbruinlewerik [Afrikaans]; Yisimatuli (generic term for lark) [Kwangali]; Mapuluhweni (generic term for lark) [Tsonga]; Sebotha (generic term for lark) [Tswana]; Savanne-leeuwerik [Dutch]; Alouette fauve [French]; Steppenlerche [German]; Cotovia-cor-d'areia [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Alaudidae > Genus: Calendulauda

Calendulauda africanoides (Fawn-coloured lark)  Calendulauda africanoides (Fawn-coloured lark)
Fawn-coloured lark. [photo Johann Grobbelaar ] Fawn-coloured lark. [photo Neil Gray ]
Calendulauda africanoides (Fawn-coloured lark)
Fawn-coloured lark, Benfontein Game Reserve, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ]

Distribution and habitat

Near-endemic to southern Africa, from north-central South Africa to Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, marginally extending into Zambia and Angola. It generally prefers habitats with sandy soils, such as fine-leaved and broad-leaved savanna, dune shrubland, and in the Northern Cape also occurring in grassland with scattered Greenhair-thorns (Parkinsonia africana).

Distribution of Fawn-coloured lark in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project ( Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Predators and parasites

It has been recorded as prey of the following animals:


It eats insects and the seeds of forbs and grasses, doing most of its foraging on bare sandy soil and at the bases of grass tufts. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

  • Invertebrates
  • Seeds
    • grasses
      • Enneapogon
      • Schmidtia
    • forbs
      • Chenopodium


  • The nest is cup built of grass and rootlets, often concealed by a grass-built dome. It is typically placed in a scrape in the ground, at the base of a small shrub or grass tuft.
  • Egg-laying season is from September-April.
  • It lays 2-3, rarely 4 eggs, which are incubated for about 12 days.
  • The chicks are fed by both parents, leaving the nest after about 12-14 days but becoming independent quite a long while after that


Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.