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Certhilauda semitorquata (Eastern Long-billed lark) 

Grasveldlangbeklewerik [Afrikaans]; Cotovia-de-bico-comprido do Karoo [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: Certhilauda

Certhilauda semitorquata (Eastern Long-billed lark)   

Eastern long-billed lark. [photo Francois Dreyer ]


Distribution and habitat

Endemic to South Africa and Lesotho, occurring from Mpumalanga and Gauteng to the North-West Province, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho and the Eastern Cape. It generally prefers grassland, sometimes mixed with shrubland and especially on rocky ridges.


It mainly eats invertebrates, doing most of its foraging on the ground, plucking food items from the soil surface and bases of grass tufts. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • The nest (see image below) is a cup built of dry grass built mainly by the female, with a clump of peddles in front of it. It is typically placed at the base of a grass tuft or under an overhanging rock in a hollow.
Certhilauda semitorquata (Eastern Long-billed lark)  

Eastern long-billed lark nest with chick, Wakkerstroom, South Africa. [photo Warwick Tarboton ]

  • It lays 2-3 eggs, usually in the months from September-January, peaking from October-November.
  • Very little is known about the chicks, other than that they are fed by both parents.


Not threatened, partly due its preference for grassland on rocky ridges, which is typically not suitable for agriculture.


  • 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.