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the web of life in southern Africa

Mirafra rufocinnamomea (Flappet lark)

Laeveldklappertjie [Afrikaans]; uQaqashe [Zulu]; Yisimatuli (generic term for lark) [Kwangali]; Chitambirmbuya [Shona]; Mamhengele, Matharhatharha, Phapharharha [Tsonga]; Sebotha (generic term for lark) [Tswana]; Ratelleeuwerik [Dutch]; Alouette bourdonnante [French]; Baumklapperlerche, Zimtbaumlerche [German]; Cotovia-das-castanholas [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 rufocinnamomea (Flappet lark)


Flappet lark, Uganda. [photo Kristian Svensson ]


Distribution and habitat

Occurs much of sub-Saharan Africa (excluding lowland forests), from Senegal to Ethiopia south to southern Africa. Here it is fairly common in grassy clearings and drainage lines within broad-leaved woodland, especially Burkea (Burkea africana), miombo (Brachystegia) and Zambezi teak (Baikiaea plurijuga), also occupying coastal grassland and Acacia savanna.

Distribution of Flappet 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 eats invertebrates and grass seeds, doing most of its foraging on the ground. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • The nest is a partially or completely domed cup, built of dry grass and lined with rootlets. It is typically placed in a scrape or hollow in the ground adjacent to a tuft or two of grass, the leaves of which are incorporated into the dome.
  • Egg-laying season is from October-April, peaking from November-February.
  • It lays 2-3 dull white eggs, which are speckled, spotted or streaked with brown and grey.
  • The chicks leave the nest after about 11 days, before they are able to fly.


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.