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Mirafra passerina (Monotonous lark) 

Bosveldlewerik [Afrikaans]; Yisimatuli (generic term for lark) [Kwangali]; Mapuluhweni (generic term for lark) [Tsonga]; Sebotha (generic term for lark) [Tswana]; Musleeuwerik [Dutch]; Alouette monotone [French]; Sperlingslerche [German]; Cotovia-monótona [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: Mirafra

Mirafra passerina (Monotonous lark)   

Monotonous lark, Polokwane Game Reserve, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]


Distribution and habitat

Near-endemic to southern Africa, occurring from southern Angola and south-western Zambia to Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and northern South Africa. It occupies a variety of habitat types, however it generally prefers semi-arid savanna and woodland, such as bushwillow (Combretum) woodland, the border between miombo (Brachystegia) woodland and vegetation along drainage lines and sparsely wooded Acacia savanna.

Distribution of Monotonous 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.  


It does most of its foraging on the ground, feeding on invertebrates and grass seeds.


  • The nest is a deep cup built of dry grass and placed on the ground at the base of or between to tufts of grass, the leaves of which are sometimes incorporated into a dome over the nest.
  • Egg-laying season is from October-March, peaking during January.
  • It lays 2-4 white, heavily mottled or speckled eggs.


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.