Bar-tailed Lark (Ammomanes cinctura)

Bar-tailed Lark

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Alaudidae | [latin] Ammomanes cinctura | [UK] Bar-tailed Lark | [FR] Ammomane elegante | [DE] Sandlerche | [ES] | [NL] Rosse Woestijnleeuwerik


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Ammomanes cinctura AF, EU Morocco to Pakistan
Ammomanes cinctura arenicolor
Ammomanes cinctura cinctura
Ammomanes cinctura zarudnyi

Physical charateristics

15 cm; wing-span 25-29 cm. 5-10% smaller and distinctly slimmer than Desert Lark; noticeably smaller-headed and less bulky than Dunn?s Lark. Rather small, neatly made lark, with rather bunting-like small bill and round head. Plumage essentially pale grey-buff, more uniform than in other desert-dwelling larks, but with obvious orange glow on upper- and underwing and on tail-base. Primaries and tail-feathers variably tipped black, with inverted T pattern on tail usually strong enough to recall wheatear.

wingspan min.: 25 cm wingspan max.: 29 cm
size min.: 15 cm size max.: 16 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


Africa, Eurasia : Morocco to Pakistan


In subtropical and tropical lower latitudes, in contrast to Desert Lark on wide flat or gently sloping bare stony or sandy deserts, rarely with more than sparse vegetation, and without access to water or relief from intense heat. In such terms ranks as most essentially desert-dwelling of west Palearctic larks, and penetrates furthest into interior of Sahara, although highest density found near Atlantic coast. In north-west Africa also frequents low dunes and hollows between them, or sandy wadis amidst mountains. In some parts of range, replaces Crested Lark as common roadside bird, especially at lower elevations.


Breeding periode in Cape Verde Islands; eggs laid September-April, probably affected by occurrence of rains. North Africa: February-April(-May). Eastern Saudi Arabia: from March.Nest is built On ground usually in shelter of tussock or small stone. The nest is a shallow depression lined with vegetation, often with rim of small stones all round or on exposed side. Eggs are sub-elliptical, smooth and glossy; white, lightly spotted with black, grey, and purple. Clutch: 2-4. (Incubation and fledging periods not recorded.)

Feeding habits

Seeds and other plant material, and insects. Will feed by digging into ground, but less often than Dunn?s Lark (at least when accompanying that species) and picks from surface more. Feeding flock will move rapidly forward, alternately running and pausing.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
The Bar-tailed Lark (Ammomanes cinctura) is a species of lark in the Alaudidae family. It is found in Afghanistan, Algeria, Cape Verde, Chad, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Western Sahara, and Yemen.
Bar-tailed Lark status Least Concern


Resident, also dispersive and nomadic to an uncertain extent.

Distribution map

Bar-tailed Lark distribution range map

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