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Certhilauda subcoronata (Karoo Long-billed lark) 

Karoolangbeklewerik [Afrikaans]; Cotovia-de-bico-comprido-oriental [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 subcoronata (Karoo Long-billed lark) Certhilauda subcoronata (Karoo Long-billed lark) 

Karoo long-billed lark. [photo Neil Gray ]

Karoo long-billed lark, Karoo National Park, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ]

Distribution and habitat

Endemic to southern Africa, occurring from central Namibia though to the Northern Cape, Western Cape and the Free State Province. It generally prefers semi-arid dwarf shrubland (such as Karoo) and grassy shrubland on boulder-strewn plains and rocky ridges.


It mainly eats insects supplemented with seeds, plucking food items from beneath stones and the bases of plants. It is a pest for farmers, as it sometimes digs up planted grains. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

  • Insects
  • Arachnids
  • Seeds of shrubs
    • Augea capensis
    • Hermannia
    • Limeum
    • Osteospermum
  • Fruit and seeds
    • Atriplex semibaccata (Australian saltbrush)
    • Lycium (honey-thorns)


  • The nest is cup built of roots and twigs and lined with the fluffy seeds of the Karoo rosemary (Eriocephalus). It is typically placed in a shallow excavated hollow at the base of a shrub or stone.
  • It lays 2-3 eggs, usually in the months from August-April.
  • The chicks are fed by both parents, becoming independent several weeks after leaving the nest.


Not threatened, in fact it is the most common long-billed lark species.


  • 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.