Biometrics and moult of Grey-backed Sparrow-lark Eremopterix verticalis in the Karoo, September 2023
The biometrics of Grey-backed Sparrow-larks Eremopterix verticalis in the handbooks are based on small samples. We summarize wing-length, tail-length and mass of a sample of 130 Grey-backed Sparrow-larks mistnetted during ringing on the farm New Holme, Hanover District, Northern Cape, South Africa, in September 2023. The habitat was Grassy Karoo with, on average, March being the month of peak annual rainfall. The sample consisted of 58 females and 72 males. We examined birds for primary moult; 5% had moulted either one or two primaries, indicating that moult was commencing in the population as a whole. This observation, set in the context of an observation made in Namibia, suggests that this species undertakes a pre-breeding moult in spring and summer, prior to breeding in late summer and autumn.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Graeme Hatley, H Dieter Oschadleus, Les G Underhill, Jean Ramsay
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.