The Agulhas Long-billed Lark (Certhilauda brevirostris) is a small passerine bird. It is an endemic resident breeder in the Western Cape, South Africa. Its restricted range is centred on the Agulhas arable farmlands, from east of the Hottentots-Holland mountain range to Mossel Bay, and occupies a maximum of 15,000 kmē.
This lark was formerly considered as a subspecies of Cape Long-billed Lark, Certhilauda curvirostris until it, with three other subspecies, was elevated to species status (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993).
Habitat and breeding
The natural habitat of Agulhas Long-billed Lark is uncertain, since most of its range has been converted into stony wheatfields and pasture land, only 30% remaining as coastal fynbos or karoo scrub. However, it appears to have adapted quite well to its modified habitat, although its distribution is patchy for unknown reasons. At present, very little is known about its ecology and breeding requirements. Like other larks, it nests on the ground. Its food is seeds and insects, the latter especially in the breeding season.
The Agulhas Long-billed Lark is 18-20 cm in length. It is long-tailed and has a longish curved bill. It has a streaked buff-grey head and back, and the closed wings are grey. The underparts are cream-coloured with dark streaking on the breast and flanks. Compared to Cape Long-billed Lark, this species more buff and has a shorter tail and bill.
The display song of Algulhas Long-billed Lark is a disyllabic whistle seeooo seeeooo.
This species is listed as Near Threatened, since the total population is unknown. However, its true status and the nature of any threats are currently uncertain.