Archer's Lark

A drawing of the Archer's Lark
A drawing of the Archer's Lark

Description


The Archer's Lark is a small bird around fourteen centimeters tall with a large head and a short tail. It sports a scale pattern along its upper body and extended chest. The Archer's Lark has a coloration of brown and slightly red with white tail feathers and underside. There has been no recording of its voice so its song is unknown. This lack of knowledge is mainly due to the reclusive behavior of the lark. In the few times that it has been recorded, it was seen to shy away from others and prefers to travel on the ground in the thick grasses instead of flying.
Singing_lark.jpg
Real life picture of Archer's Lark close cousin. Appearances are similar.





The Science Behind the Bird


The Archer's Lark lives in a small area between Jifa Medir and Ban Wujaleh in north western Somalia near the Ethiopian border. Two habitats support the lark, a temperate grassland area and a temperate rocky brush land. Both areas receive approximately 30-40 centimeters of rainfall a year. Their diet has not been confirmed but like other larks it more than likely eats seeds or small insects like worms. Nests are made in summer around June and each has three eggs, the Archer's Lark's clutch-size.

Archer's_lark.png
Area the Archer's Lark is found


Critically Endangered and Why

Slowly, the Archer's Lark is dying out. It has been listed as threatened since 1988 and critically endangered since 2005. Scientists believe that the Tussocky grasses that the Archer's Lark survives off of are being destroyed by Parthenium weeds, a weed that is spreading all across Somalia. Also, the land where they live, the only place in the world found to have them, was claimed by African refugees and cultivated into farmlands and ranching grounds. Between humans and invasive weeds, the habitat that supports the Archer's Lark is being destroyed and, with its destruction the lark's population is decreasing.


Tussocky_grass.jpg
Tussocky grass

Quick Facts


  • Scientific name= Heteromirafra archeri
  • Also known as the Somali Long-clawed Lark
  • Belongs to the Alaudidae family (lark family)
  • First discovered in 1922
  • Has not been seen since 1955
  • Estimated to from 50-250 adults alive
  • There are no conservation efforts underway to save species
  • Supposedly, an Archer's Lark was spotted in Ethiopia but it is unconfirmed
  • 15 searches over the past 40 years have produced no signs of life
  • Officially became Critically Endangered in 2005

Other Stuff You Might Be Interested In


Singing Lark- http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/148837/0
Somali Birds- http://www.africanbirdclub.org/countries/Somalia/ibas.html
Critically Endangered Birds- http://www.terranature.org/criticallyendangeredbirds.htm


Bibliography


"Archer's Lark - BirdForum Opus." BirdForum - The Net's Largest Birding Community, Dedicated To Wild Birds. 10 Mar. 2011 <http://www.birdforum.net/opus/Archer's_Lark>.

"Archer's Lark (Heteromirafra archeri) - BirdLife Species Factsheet." BirdLife International - Conserving the World's Birds. Web. 10 Mar. 2011. <http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=8122>.