All Photos posted on this blog unless otherwise noted were taken by me with my Canon Rebel XTI using a 300 mm zoom lens

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October 2011 Bird of the Month Horned Lark

I still remember the first time I saw Horned Larks in December of 2001, my son Spencer and I had traveled to the town of Mantua located in Sardine Canyon east of Brigham City Utah to see a group of Common Redpoll that had been sighted there. After seeing the Redpolls we traveled west to Bear River Bird Refuge, these little beauties were running and flitting ahead of us along the road escorting us through the auto tour loop. That was before I had my camera many years later I went again out to Bear River and got  some long awaited pictures of  the handsome Horned Lark.

The Horned Lark breeds across much of North America, and is found year round in the Great Salt Lake Wetlands. Also known as the Shore Lark is found through much of Europe and Asia. 
This little guy was on the road to the Ranch at Antelope Island last spring
Unlike other Larks this is a distinctive-looking species on the ground, mainly brown-grey above and pale below, with a striking black and yellow face pattern. The summer male has black "horns", which give this species its American name.

If you're not looking for them they might go unnoticed because they blend in quite well to their environment.
This is a bird of open ground in the US, In Eurasia it breeds above the tree line in mountains and the far north. In most of Europe, it is most often seen on seashore flats in winter, leading to the European name. In the UK it can be found as a winter stopover along the coasts and in eastern England although a mated pair have been recently spotted in Windmill End nature reserve in the West Midlands. In America, where there are no other larks to compete with, it's also found on farmland, on prairies, in deserts, on golf courses and airports, and the like.

1 comment:

john said...

The Horned Larks that I used to see in Arizona look completely different from the local Alaska larks.
The first ones I saw in AK, I did'nt even recognize at first. I'm envious of your photos of them.