( Desfontaines, 1789)
The Greater Hoopoe-lark or Hoopoe Lark (Alaemon alaudipes), is a passerine bird which is a resident breeder in deserts from the Cape Verde Islands across much of north Africa, through the Arabian peninsula to Syria, Afghanistan and western Pakistan. It was formerly known as the Bifasciated Lark.
This lark is a bird of deserts and semi-desert. Its nest is on the ground, with two eggs being laid. These are incubated by both sexes. Its food is seeds supplemented with insects in the breeding season.
This is a large, slim, long-legged lark. The 19-22.5 cm adult is mainly sandy brown above and pale below, with some breast streaking. Unlike most other larks, Greater Hoopoe-lark is a distinctive looking species in flight, with a striking black and white pattern on its broad wings.
The wing pattern, long curved bill and the slow flappy start to the song flight all recall the Hoopoe for which this species is named. The male, female and juvenile of this species are all similar in appearance.
The display flight of the Greater Hoopoe-lark includes a steep climb followed by a vertical dive with closed wings. The call is a rolling zreee, and the song, given in flight, is a series of sad piping notes.