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Grey-backed Sparrowlark | Eremopterix verticalis

The Grey-backed Sparrowlark is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Alaudidae bird family group which includes birds such as Larks, Sparrowlarks.

The description for the Grey-backed Sparrowlark (Latin name Eremopterix verticalis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Eremopterix verticalis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 516 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 888. You will find a picture of the Grey-backed Sparrowlark on page 913.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Grey-backed Finchlark in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Grey-backed Sparrowlark between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Grey-backed Sparrowlark is known in Afrikaans as Grysruglewerik.

The Grey-backed Sparrowlark is near Endemic to the Southern African Region which means it is mainly found in this region but is not restricted here alone. The Eremopterix verticalis can be found in other parts of the world.

The Grey-backed Sparrowlark has a height of 13 cms and weighs around 17 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured blue, grey. The Eremopterix verticalis has a white coloured throat, grey legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Eremopterix verticalis has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black

Eyes are brown

Bill is blue, grey

Legs are grey

Throat is white

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Grey-backed Sparrowlark is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 5 eggs and they are coloured yellow.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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