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24

Horsfield's Bushlark

(Mirafra javanica)
Alternate name(s): "Singing Bushlark", "Australasian Bushlark",
"Cinnamon Bushlark", "Australian Skylark", "Croplark"
Aboriginal name(s): "tirtiyn tjaRuk"/"turti tjaRuk" [tjapwurrung, eastern djadjawurrung]

Size: 12-15 cm
Weight: 18-25 g

Similar
species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Horsfield's Bushlark at Wikipedia .

Click here for classification information

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "horsfieldii"

ADULT

MALE

Ventral view of a male Horsfield's Bushlark in display flight; this is the bird whose mimicry was recorded on 21 Feb. 2024
[Between Pilliga and Burren Junction, NSW, February 2024]

Sex unknown

Frontal view of an adult Horsfield's Bushlark on a gravel road
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2011]

Near-lateral view of a Horsfield's Bushlark on the ground (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Lateral view of a Singing Bushlark looking at the observer
[Goran Lake, NSW, October 2011]

Lateral view of a Singing Bushlark
[Goran Lake, NSW, October 2011]

Close-up lateral view of a Horsfield's Bushlark with its crest erected (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Near Narrabri, NSW, November 2020]

Lateral view of a Horsfield's Bushlark launching itself into the air
[Goran Lake, NSW, October 2011]

Lateral view of s Singing Bushlark on a gravel road
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2011]

Lateral view of a Horsfield's Bushlark (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Near Oakey, QLD, January 2019]

Near-dorsal view of a Horsfield's Bushlark (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Lake Samsonvale, QLD, December 2019]

Near-dorsal view of a Horsfield's Bushlark (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Horseshoe Lagoon, Hodel Road, Burdekin, QLD, September 2020]

Near-dorsal view of a Horsfield's Bushlark, now with its crest erect (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Horseshoe Lagoon, Hodel Road, Burdekin, QLD, September 2020]

Dorsal view of a Horsfield's Bushlark (photo courtesy of A. Allnutt)
[Lake Cargelligo, NSW, January 2019]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

In January/February 2024, two individual sub-adult birds were found by us near Eulah Creek, NSW. Differences in their plumage rendered possible a distinction between the two.

Bird #1

Close-up lateral view of an immature Horsfield's Bushlark looking at the observer; the pale gape suggests that this bird is immature, although the (presumably mostly juvenile) plumage looks worn, without the expected scalloped pattern
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2024]

Close-up lateral view of an immature Horsfield's Bushlark scanning the sky above
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2024]

Close-up lateral view of an immature Horsfield's Bushlark
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2024]

Close-up near-dorsal view of an immature Horsfield's Bushlark looking sideways
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2024]

Bird #2

Close-up lateral view of an immature Horsfield's Bushlark looking at the observer; the pale gape suggests that this bird is immature, although the (presumably mostly juvenile) plumage looks worn; this bird has visible remnants of the characteristic chestnut edge lining of the wing coverts, distinguishing it from its sibling
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2024]

Close-up lateral view of an immature Horsfield's Bushlark
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, February 2024]

Close-up lateral view of an immature Horsfield's Bushlark with its crest raised
[Near Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2024]

Race "soderbergi"

ADULT

Sex unknown

Frontal view of an adult Horsfield's Bushlark with its crest raised (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Leanyer Swamp, Darwin, NT, November 2018]

Near-frontal view of a Horsfield's Bushlark (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Leanyer Swamp, Darwin, NT, November 2018]

Near-frontal view of an adult Horsfield's Bushlark issuing its call (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Leanyer Swamp, Darwin, NT, November 2018]

Near-frontal view of a Horsfield's Bushlark looking sideways (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Leanyer Swamp, Darwin, NT, November 2018]

Near-lateral view of a Horsfield's Bushlark, first looking left... (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Oolloo Road, Douglas-Daly, NT, January 2021]

Near-lateral view of a Horsfield's Bushlark, now looking right (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Oolloo Road, Douglas-Daly, NT, January 2021]

Near-lateral view of a Horsfield's Bushlark (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Darwin, NT, August 2013]

Lateral view of a Horsfield's Bushlark (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Darwin, NT, August 2013]

Male Horsfield's Bushlark marking its territory from a high perch; this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 11 November 2018 (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Knuckey Lagoon, Darwin, NT, November 2018]

Near-frontal/ventral view of a Horsfield's Bushlark in flight (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Darwin, NT, August 2013]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Partly migratory Elementary unit: Solitary/pair

"Find the bird!" - Horsfield's Bushlark relying on its camouflage to stay hidden (photo courtesy of V. Collins)
[Near Narrabri, NSW, November 2020]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

singlrk_20220912.mp3 horsfieldii
(NW NSW)
Territorial calls (male) © MD
singlrk_20141121.mp3 horsfieldii
(NW NSW)
Territorial calls
(male display flight)
© MD
singlrk_20151219.m4a horsfieldii
(NW NSW)
Territorial calls (male) © MD
singlrk_20240221.m4a horsfieldii
(NW NSW)
Mimicry (many species! male in display flight) © MD
singlrk_20240307.m4a horsfieldii
(NW NSW)
? (at night, while roosting) © MD
 
singlrk_pb_20181111_2.m4a soderbergi
(Top End, NT)
Territorial calls (male) © PB
singlrk_pb_20181111.m4a soderbergi
(Top End, NT)
Territorial calls (male) + mimicry (Jacky Winter) © PB
singlrk_pb_20181111_3.m4a soderbergi
(Top End, NT)
Territorial calls (male) + mimicry (Jacky Winter) © PB
singlrk_pb_20190920.m4a soderbergi
(Top End, NT)
Mimicry (Lemon-bellied Flycatcher) © PB

More Singing Bushlark sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.