The Brown Songlark (Cincloramphus cruralis) with its distinctive song is found across much of Australia, although less common across some agricultural and open grassland areas.

The male and female Brown Songlark are different in size and plumage, with the male being a rich chocolate brown colour (sometimes described as cinnamon-colour during breeding season), whilst the female is described as being drabber in colour. They have a pale eyebrow and are a largish songbird with a long tail and long legs. The males have greyish brown edged feathers above and a dark grey belly, breast and face, especially when in breeding plumage.

The female has a characteristic black belly patch.

The male displays a distinctive flight, when it climbs high in the air and then parachutes down with wings held up at an angle and with their legs held dangling, whilst also singing a discordant, metallic sounding song, as it drops into the grass.,

The cup-shaped nest is built into the ground amongst dense grass, built and tended solely by the female.

Common name
Brown Songlark, Australian Songlark, Black-breasted Lark, Black-breasted Song Lark, Harvest bird, Brown Singing-lark, Singing Lark.

Images © Dorothy L

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Locustellidae
  • Genus: Cincloramphus
  • Species: C. cruralis
  • Binomial name: Cincloramphus cruralis
  • Synonyms: Megalurus cruralis

Footnote & References

  1. Brown songlark, (last visited June 4, 2021).
  2. Brown Songlark, eBird,
  3. Brown Songlark, M. Dahlem,