The Happy Clappers of the Western Cape

One of the most audible and characteristic sounds of the outdoor associated with the spring wild flower season are the flight displays and plaintive calls of the Cape Clapper Larks found in coastal fynbos habitats and the more undulating scrublands of the Great Karoo.

Cape Clapper Lark

Cape Clapper Lark, on the South Peninsula in Cape Town

Pre-dawn and dusk displays, with some birds even displaying after dark, would indicate a preference for cooler ambient conditions, possibly adding a touch of desirable resonance within the repetitive ‘clapping’ cycle, as the male birds systematically make their way around their established territories in completion with neighbouring rivals.

Cape Clapper Lark, seen at Bontebok Park, by Patrick Cardwell

Cape Clapper Lark, Swellendam

Split into two species some time back the Agulhas Clapper Lark Mirafra marjoriae is no longer recognised as a full species and has been lumped with Mirafra apiata to form one species, the Cape Clapper Lark as distinct from the larger Eastern Clapper Lark Mirafra fasciolata of the central interior.

For more info on our birding tours as quests for specific birds or general birding tours out of Cape Town and the rest of South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, contact Patrick or Marie-Louise on info@avianleisure.com or browse our website www.avianleisure.com

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