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A photo of a Rufous-tailed Lark (Ammomanes phoenicura)
Rufous-tailed Lark

Rufous-tailed Lark

Ammomanes phoenicura

The rufous-tailed lark (Ammomanes phoenicura), also sometimes called the rufous-tailed finch-lark, is a ground bird found in the drier open stony habitats of India and parts of Pakistan. Like other species in the genus it has a large finch-like bill with a slightly curved edge to the upper mandible. The dull brown colour matches the soil as it forages for grass seeds, grain and insects. Males and females are indistinguishable in the field but during the breeding season, the male has a courtship display that involves flying up steeply and then nose-diving and pulling up in a series of stepped wavy dips accompanied by calling. They forage on the ground in pairs or small groups. Like other Ammomanes larks, the species has a wide curved beak with the nostrils covered by feathers. The hindclaw is as long as the hindtoe and moderately curved. The base of the lower mandible is fleshy while the rest is horn-grey. The legs are also flesh coloured. In the field, the rufous colour, the reddish rump and a dark tail band (narrowing towards the sides to give a triangular shape) are distinctive. The throat is lightly streaked in dark brown. Young birds have less streaking on the underside.
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Rufous-tailed Larks on Birda

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parth Kansara
10 Dec 2023 - 1:30am
India
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