Tag Archives: Rufous-naped Lark

Rufous-naped Lark

Mirafra africana

The Rufous-naped Lark is a common and conspicuous inhabitant of agricultural fields, open grasslands and savannas, where males display prominently atop perches like tree stumps, fence-posts and termite mounds. They follow a mixed diet of insects and seeds. Adult Rufous-naped Larks measure around 17cm in length and weigh about 44g.

Rufous-naped Larks are usually found singly or in pairs, being territorial and monogamous. Their nests are domed structures built of dry grass at the base of a bush or tuft of grass. They breed almost throughout the year, though there’s a distinct peak in the summer months. Clutches of 2-4 eggs are incubated for 2 weeks, with the female taking most of the parental responsibility after the eggs have hatched. The chicks leave the nest before they’re 2 weeks old and before they can fly.

The IUCN lists the Rufous-naped Lark as being of least concern, though it does mention a probably declining and fragmenting population in the north of the species’ range. In South Africa they occur in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Northwest, Gauteng, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, and north of our borders they’re distributed patchily over much of sub-Saharan Africa.