Larks of the Overberg

When spending time in the Overberg wheat-belt, one is surrounded by the wonderful sound of non-stop bird calls – with some of the most significant ones being our lovely larks. We have four species in the area:

Red-capped Lark
Red-capped Lark

Red-capped Lark: widely-distributed little lark occurring as far north as Kenya, this species has adapted well to man-altered environments and can often be seen in the grain fields of the Overberg.

Agulhas Long-billed Lark
Agulhas Long-billed Lark

Agulhas Long-billed Lark: Endemic to South Africa, confined to a small range between the Breede River Valley to the Agulhas Plain to Mossel Bay. Dependent on low-lying habitats and avoids mountain fynbos.

Cape Clapper Lark: Essentially endemic to South Africa and tied to fynbos/renosterveld and karoo habitats. This species is less adaptable to transformed habitats and prefers natural remnants. Its characteristic ‘tseeoo tseeuu’ call accompanied by a clapping display (clapping made by the wings) at several meters above ground is a typical Overberg sound. A difficult species to photograph, this one has still evaded us!

Large-billed Lark
Large-billed Lark

Large-billed Lark: Endemic to SA, the call of this distinctive species resembles the sound of a ‘squeeky gate.’ It makes use of a variety of natural habitats but is also able to inhabit disturbed and transformed landscapes. It can therefore be seen in the croplands of the Overberg as well as within the natural renosterveld remnants.