Showing wing colour while preening in Kolkata
The Rufous-winged Bush Lark (Mirafra assamica) is a small passerine bird. It is a resident breeder in the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia.
The Rufous-winged Bush Lark is a common bird of dry open stony country and cultivation. It nests on the ground, laying three or four speckled eggs. This lark's food is seeds and insects, the latter especially in the breeding season.
This is a small pale lark 15 centimeters in length, smaller than the Skylark. It is short-tailed and has a strong stout bill. The northern race M. a. assamica is dark-streaked grey above, and buff below, with spotting on the breast and behind the eye. The wings are rufous. M. a. affinis has greyish-brown upperparts and paler underparts. M. a. affinis is treated as a complete species in more recent works and is known by the name of Jerdon's Bushlark. The species split has been suggested based on the completely different calls and distribution based on the work of Swedish ornithologist Per Alstrom.
The song of M. a. assamica is a repetition of thin disyllabic notes, delivered in a song flight, and that of M. a. affinis is a dry rattle given from a perch.
Care must be taken to distinguish Rufous-winged Bush Lark from other very similar bush-lark species in the genus Mirafra.