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gray's lark

Birds of Namibia

Introduction: Gray's lark (Ammomaniopsis grayi) were first recorded by the English ornithologist and author, John Edward Grey (1800-1875). They are absent from coastal dunes and sand desert, but inhabit barren gravel plains with extensive bare areas between vegetation 15 to 20cm tall.

Distribution: Found only in the Namib Desert including the Skeleton Coast, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay south to Luderitz to the Sperrgebiet.

Diet: Crouches and pecks food from the ground as it walks, including from zebra and antelope droppings. Eats termites, stick insects, flies, locusts, beetles, ants, moths and spiders.

Description: A small, plain-backed lark with a short, conical bill. Upper parts pinkish buff, brownish-black tail, plain brown flight feathers and a white belly.

Breeding: Fine grasses from the Stipagrostis species are the main materials used to build thick-walled, cup-shaped nest. From 2 to 3 eggs are laid from March to July and incubated for up to 13 days.

Size: 14cm. Weight: 22cm.

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