Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Brown Songlark
Cincloramphus cruralis
(Viewing 4 of 6 photos)

Click to listen to sound sample Brown Songlarks are essentially the songlarks of the inland, the plains and wide open spaces but they do occur practically all over Australia, anywhere where there are no trees or large shrubs. In the south they are migratory, and like many of the north-south migrants, they seek out the good times where there has been good rain and the vegetation is lush.

They arrive in August-Sept and the males soon set about establishing a territory, with their characteristic display flights where they ascend gradually to 50 metres or so, singing all the while, then rapidly descend in a steep dive to land on a favourite perch and finishing off the song in a series of "Click -click-click"sounds.(listen on sound page). One of the few birds in Australia where there is considerable size disparity between the sexes, in breeding plumage they look quite different as well. Females are one of our very plain small brown birds, easy to confuse with a Rufous Songlark, European Songlark or indeed a pipit. Males moult into a winter plumage which resembles that of the female, but of course they are much larger.

The cup-shaped nest is built into the ground amongst dense grass, built and tended solely by the female.

Photo: 508201

508201 ... Brown Songlark, adult male in breeding plumage.

Photo: 508202

508202 ... Brown Songlark.

Photo: 508203

508203 ... Brorn Songlark nest is cup-shaped and built into the ground.

Photo: 508204

508204 ... Brown Songlark, male

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