540. DUPONT’S LARK.
Certhilauda duponti (Vieill.), Faun. Franc. p. 173, pl. 76, fig. 2 (1820) ; Dresser, iv. p. 279, pl. 227 ; (Sharpe) Cat. B. Br. Mus. xiii. p. 526 ; C. margaritoe Koenig, J. f. O. 1888, p. 228, Taf. ii.
Male ad. (N. Africa). Crown, nape, and upper parts rufous brown, the feathers margined with creamy buff or dirty white, those forming a mesial stripe, one above and behind each eye, and the sides of the nape with broad white margins ; quills dark brown margined with white and creamy brown, the secondaries tipped, the inner ones margined on both webs, with pale creamy brown ; middle rectrices pale reddish brown, the rest brown ; the outermost chiefly white ; a dark streak on each side of the throat, and the lower throat and breast spotted with brown and rufous ; rest of under parts white ; the sides of the head and lower breast washed with pale rufous and rufous buff ; flanks streaked with rufous ; bill curved and elongated, blackish brown ; legs pale reddish ; iris brown. Culmen 1.0, wing 4.0, tail 2.8, tarsus 0.87, hind-toe 0.37, hind-claw 0.38 inch.
Hab. The extreme south of the Iberian peninsula (where it is rare), Tunis, and the Algerian Sahara.
Frequents open places in the desert and feeds on insects and seeds. Its flight is strong, and its song is said to he pleasant. It is usually seen singly or in small families, never in flocks, and said to be rather shy and wary. Its nest is placed on the ground and is shallow, and the eggs, usually 4 in number, are dull white spotted with hair-brown, the spots being often collected round the larger end. In size they measure about 0.87 by 0.67.
I have compared specimens of Dr. Koenig’s C. margaritoe,, and cannot separate it from the present species. Dr. Sharpe (l.c.) separates subspecifically, under the name Chersophilus lusitanicus, a form described by Prof. Barboza du Bocages as Certhilauda duponti var. lusitanica (Jorn. Lisb. 1887, p. 214) from Portugal, but it appears to me to be a very doubtful subspecies. I have, however, not been able to examine a specimen.
540. Certhilauda duponti
540. DUPONT’S LARK.