Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Horsfield's Bushlark
Mirafra javanica
(Viewing 4 of 8 photos)

Horsfield's Bushlark is the sole Australian representative of a very large genus (Mirafra) of larks (or bushlarks) that occur widely in Africa, Asia, Indonesia and New Guinea. Throughout Australia, bushlarks vary a lot in colour and a number of subspecies have been proposed, perhaps the most distinctive one being the "Cinnamon Bushlark" from the Pilbara region of W.A., (pic. 648203) back in 1926 regarded as a species.

In some parts of southern Australia, bushlarks appear to be migratory but not on a regular basis - they generally only occur in good seasons after heavy winter rains. They inhabit open grasslands very often in close proximity to wetter areas where there is an abundance of food. Males perform song flights high in the air in typical lark-like fashion, even occasionally at night.

When flushed they fly in a very jerky fashion, fluttering low across the ground in a series of short loops which helps to distinguish them from pipits and skylarks with which they can be confused when at rest.

Photo: 648201

648201 ... Horsfield's Bushlark, Lake Cargelligo, N.S.W.

Photo: 648202

648202 ... Horsfield's Bushlark nestling mouth patterns

Photo: 648203

648203 ... Taken at North-west Cape, W.A. - once known as Cinnamon Bushlark.

Photo: 648204

648204 ... Horsfield's Bushlark nestling mouth patterns

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