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Birdwatching in Africa - Thekla's Lark, Galerida theklae


Thekla's Lark (Galerida theklae) breeds on the Iberian Peninsula, in northern Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal to Somalia. It is a sedentary (non-migratory) species. This is a common bird of dry open country, often at some altitude. Thekla's lark was named by Alfred Edmund Brehm in 1857 for his recently deceased sister Thekla Brehm (1833–1857).

The name is a modern Greek one, Θέκλα (Thekla), which comes from ancient Greek Θεόκλεια (Theokleia) derived from θεός (theos, "god") and κλέος (kleos, "glory" or "honour"). The population is declining in Spain, but this is a common bird with a very wide range and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated its conservation status as being of "least concern".

Distribution and habitat
Thekla's lark is native and resident in France, Spain, Portugal, Algeria, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Somalia, Tunisia and Western Sahara. Its typical habitat is rugged areas with scrub, bare patches of ground and semi-arid grassland.

Range map from www.oiseaux.net

Range map
Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
www.oiseaux.net is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there


Taxonomy and systematics
Thekla's lark has several East African subspecies that show deep genetic divergence both among themselves and from the Mediterranean populations and are consequently strong candidates for consideration as separate species.

Formerly, some authorities considered the Thekla lark to be a subspecies of the Malabar lark. Alternate names for Thekla lark include short-crested lark and Thekla crested-lark.

Subspecies
Twelve subspecies are recognized:

• G. t. theklae - Brehm, AE, 1857: Also known as Iberian Thekla's lark. Found in Portugal, Spain, Balearic Islands and extreme southern France

• North Moroccan Thekla's lark (G. t. erlangeri) - Hartert, 1904: Found in northern Morocco

• Central Moroccan Thekla's lark (G. t. ruficolor) - Whitaker, 1898: Found in central and north-eastern Morocco, northern Algeria and northern Tunisia

• G. t. theresae - Meinertzhagen, R, 1939: Found in south-western Morocco and Mauritania

• Hauts Plateaux Thekla's lark (G. t. superflua) - Hartert, 1897: Found in eastern Morocco, northern Algeria and eastern Tunisia

• North African Thekla's lark (G. t. carolinae) - Erlanger, 1897: Found in eastern Morocco through the northern Sahara to north-western Egypt

• G. t. harrarensis - Érard & Jarry, 1973: Found in eastern Ethiopia

• G. t. huei - Érard & Naurois, 1973: Found in south-central Ethiopia

• Abyssinian Thekla's lark (G. t. praetermissa) - (Blanford, 1869): Found in southern Eritrea to central Ethiopia

• Somali Thekla's lark (G. t. ellioti) - Hartert, 1897: Originally described as a separate species. Found in northern and central Somalia

• G. t. mallablensis - Colston, 1982: Found in southern Somalia

• G. t. huriensis - Benson, 1947: Found in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya

Description
This is a smallish lark, slightly smaller than the Eurasian skylark. It has a long, spiky, erectile crest. It is greyer than the Eurasian skylark, and lacks the white wing and tail edge of that species. It is very similar to the widespread crested lark.

It is smaller and somewhat greyer than that species, and has a shorter bill. In flight it shows grey underwings, whereas the crested lark has reddish underwings. The body is mainly dark-streaked grey above and whitish below. The sexes are similar.

Length: 17 cm
Wingspan: 28 - 32 cm.
Weight: 34 - 37 g
Longevity:
Distinctive Feature

Similar Species

• Crested Lark

From opus at www.birdforum.net the forum for wild birds and birding.
Female / Male

• The sexes are similar.

From opus at www.birdforum.net the forum for wild birds and birding.


Listen to the Thekla's Lark


Remarks from the Recordist

Perched bird


www.xeno-canto.org


Thekla's Lark, Galerida theklae
Eggs of Galerida theklae MHNT
By Didier Descouens - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29086916


Behaviour and ecology
It nests on the ground, laying two to six eggs. Its food is weed, seeds and insects, the latter especially in the breeding season.

The song is melodious and varied, with mournful whistles and mimicry included. It is softer and more tuneful than that of the crested lark, and may be sung during flight or from the ground or an exposed perch.

Conservation status
Conservation status
Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2017: e.T22717387A111112049.
doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-1.RLTS.T22717387A111112049.en.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

www.birdforum.net


Sighted: 25 October 2019 (Date of first photo that I could use)
Location: On the road between Debre Birhan and Lemi, Ethiopia


Thekla's Lark, Galerida theklae
Thekla's Lark - 25 October 2019 - On the road between Debre Birhan and Lemi, Ethiopia

Thekla's Lark, Galerida theklae
Thekla's Lark - 25 October 2019 - On the road between Debre Birhan and Lemi, Ethiopia

Thekla's Lark, Galerida theklae
Thekla's Lark - 25 October 2019 - On the road between Debre Birhan and Lemi, Ethiopia

Thekla's Lark, Galerida theklae
Thekla's Lark - 25 October 2019 - On the road between Debre Birhan and Lemi, Ethiopia

Thekla's Lark, Galerida theklae
Thekla's Lark - 25 October 2019 - On the road between Debre Birhan and Lemi, Ethiopia



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