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the web of life in southern Africa

Spizocorys conirostris (Pink-billed lark) 

Pienkbeklewerik [Afrikaans]; Ruruworo, Tjowe (generic terms for sparrowlark and Pink-billed lark) [Kwangali]; Roodsnavelleeuwerik [Dutch]; Alouette bec rose [French]; Rotschnabellerche [German]; Cotovia-de-bico-rosado [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: Spizocorys

Spizocorys conirostris (Pink-billed lark)  

Pink-billed lark, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ]


Distribution and habitat

Near endemic to southern Africa, its distribution extends from patches in western Zambia to Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. It generally prefers open, short grassland (often recently burnt), Kalahari sand dunes with dense grass cover and fallow fields and croplands shortly after harvesting.

Distribution of Pink-billed 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.  

Movements and migrations

Resident and sedentary throughout most of its distribution, although in Namibia it is nomadic, searching for areas which have had recent rainfall.


It eats invertebrates and grass seeds, doing most of its foraging on the ground, pecking food items from the soil.


  • The nest is a cup built of dry grass and rootlets and lined with finer material; the rim is often extended to form an "apron" surrounding the cup, especially in the arid west. It is typically placed in a scrape or hoofprint in the ground, usually propped against a grass tuft, shrub or clod of earth.
  • It is an opportunistic breeder, lay its eggs after rainfall at any time of year.
  • It lays 1-3 eggs, which are incubated for about 11-13 days.
  • The chicks are fed by both adults, leaving the nest after about 10 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.