Larks (Alaudidae)

Singing Bushlark (Mirafra cantillans) - HBW 9, p. 545

French: Alouette chanteuse German: Buschlerche Spanish: Alondra Cantarina
Other common names: Singing Lark, Western Singing Bushlark; African Singing Bushlark (chadensis, marginata)

Taxonomy: Mirafra cantillans Blyth, 1845, India.
Has been placed in a superspecies with M. javanica, M. albicauda, M. passerina and M. cheniana, but validity of this grouping remains untested. Frequently treated as conspecific with M. javanica, and probably closest to and sister-taxon of that species, from which it differs by 1·8% in cytochrome b sequences. Some evidence that disjunct nominate race of Indian Subcontinent is distinct from the Afrotropical populations; further study needed. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • chadensis Alexander, 1908 - Sahel zone of Africa from Senegal E to W Eritrea.
  • marginata Hawker, 1898 - S Eritrea, NE Ethiopia, NW & S Somalia, S Sudan, NE Uganda, NW, C & S Kenya and NE Tanzania.
  • simplex (Heuglin, 1868) - SW Saudi Arabia, Yemen and W Oman.
  • cantillans Blyth, 1845 - N & S Pakistan, India, W Nepal and SE Bangladesh.