The Dusky Horned Lark is abundant and widespread during the breeding season in the sagebrush flats and wheat fields of eastern Washington.Click here to visit this species' account and breeding-season distribution map in Sound to Sage, Seattle Audubon's on-line breeding bird atlas of Island, King, Kitsap, and Kittitas Counties. The southern European mountain race is greyer above, and the yellow of the face pattern is replaced with white. Horned Larks primarily eat seeds and insects. It has a long, straight claw on its hind toe called a larkspur. If you find the information on BirdWeb useful, please consider supporting Seattle Audubon. It is 6-8 inches in length and has a wingspan of 12-13 inches. However their brains are relatively large and their learning abilities are greater than those of most other birds. DIET. Males defend territories from other males and females will occasionally chase away intruding females. Members of this diverse group make up more than half of the bird species worldwide. Horned Larks have reddish-brown upperparts streaked with dark brown, pale underparts, and a yellow face and breast. In the non-breeding season, they forage in large nomadic flocks. Some of the more northerly subspecies of Horned Lark winter in Washington, arriving in mid-November to early December and leaving in late winter or early spring. Both parents feed the young. Horned larks are widespread songbirds found across the northern hemisphere. Family: Lark. Ground-dwelling songbirds of the open country, larks are mostly an Old World family. Name: Horned Lark. Horned larks are mainly resident in the south of their range, but northern populations are migratory, moving further south in winter. Horned larks are threatened by the loss of habitat due to agricultural pesticides, urbanization, and human encroachment. Urbanization, conversion of prairies to agriculture, and the introduction of exotic plants have played a role in its decline. Most larks have striking flight-song displays. Diet: Feeds on small seeds from a great variety of grasses, weeds. Adults consume some insects as well. Seeds and insects. In Washington, the tyrant flycatchers are the only suboscines; the remaining 27 families are oscines. They also suffer from collisions with wind turbines. According to the IUCN Red List, the total Horned lark population size is more than 140,000,000 individuals. He then dives towards the ground with his wings folded. Oscines are capable of more complex song, and are considered the true songbirds. The "horns" of the Horned lark are in fact little tufts of feathers. The 'horns' are two little tufts of black feathers on the head. Diet. The claw or 'larkspur' is a common characteristic of members of the lark family (Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, 2000). The male horned lark flies above the female in circles and sings. They breed in the tundra and alpine habitats, and on seashore flats. It has a yellow throat and tufts of feathers on its head that look like horns. It winters in the surrounding lowlands. The Pallid Horned Lark breeds only in the Cascade and Olympic Mountains (Mt Adams, Mt Rainier, and Glacier Peak). Horned Larks have a holarctic distribution, including breeding across nearly all of North America, and wintering across most of the U.S. and Mexico. The Horned Lark is a small songbird with a dark facial mask and a dark breast band. She weaves fines grasses, cornstalks, small roots, and other plant material and lines it with down, fur, feathers, and occasionally lint. Scientific Name: Eremophia alpestris. Populations of this species appear to be relatively stable across the continent. During the breeding season, courtship, nesting, and feeding take place on territories. Horned larks are omnivores and feed on spiders, ants, grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, wasps, and snails. Larks sing while flying high into the air, advertising, and defending their territories. The Streaked Horned Lark is local and uncommon along coastal beaches of western Washington and on sandbars in the Lower Columbia River. They also eat seeds, fruits, and berries. Passerine birds are divided into two suborders, the suboscines and the oscines. Horned lark adult upperparts are sandy brown, with a thick black eye line that continues into a streak on the cheek. Inhabitants generally in open grounds, avoiding areas with trees or even bushes. Feeds on small seeds from a great variety of grasses and weeds, also waste grain. In summer males have black "horns", which give these birds their American name. It has a tan back, a black crescent-shaped patch on its breast, a black stripe on its face, and a black tail. Range. The female selects the nest site, usually on open ground next to a clump of grass or other low feature. Horned Larks are found around the world, with a great number of subspecies. Pairs in lowland areas may have 2-3 broods per year, but high altitude/latitude pairs have only a single brood. Horned larks breed across much of North America from the high Arctic south to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, northernmost Europe, and Asia and in the mountains of south-east Europe. Males perform a flight-song display high above the ground. Underparts are white with sandy sides and flanks and a black breast band. The nest often has a flat 'doorstep' of pebbles. Horned larks usually breed in spring and summer. Except for the central feathers, the tail is mostly black, contrasting with the paler body; this contrast is especially noticeable when the bird is in flight. Nesting. Diet. Often nests quite early in spring. They are mainly brown-grey above and pale below, with a striking black and yellow face pattern. The black forehead and eyebrow line extends into short “horns” on the rear crown. They communicate with the help of high-pitched, lisping or tinkling sounds. The horned lark is the only lark native to North America. In the south, females can produce 2-3 broods a year while in the north, 1 brood a year is more common. Horned Larks eat mostly seeds of grasses, weeds, and waste grain but feed insects to their young. Horned Lark on The IUCN Red List site -, ascension, chattering, exaltation, happiness,, In eastern Washington, the Dusky Horned Lark occurs in low-elevation steppe and agricultural habitats such as wheat fields. Other subspecies migrate through Washington and may be found in other open habitats. Horned Larks inhabit open ground with short grass or scattered bushes. Most are small. Horned larks are diurnal and gregarious; they form large flocks often with other species but during the breeding season they are often seen in pairs or small groups. However, the Streaked Horned Lark subspecies has declined sharply in western Washington. Male residents establish and defend territories as early as January and February. In North America, where there are no other larks to compete with, they can also be found on farmland, on prairies, in deserts, on golf courses and airports. It occasionally eats insects, especially in the summer. They feed insects to their young, though, and also consume some insects (like grasshoppers, caterpillars, ants, and wasps) themselves. North America has a number of races distinguished by the face pattern and back color of males, especially in summer. Adults consume some insects as well. Courting is composed of the male singing to the female while flying above her in circles. Adult horned larks eat mostly weed seeds, grass seeds, and waste grains. Horned larks are hard to see because they blend with their environment and become inconspicuous. The horned lark eats small seeds from a wide variety of grasses and weeds. They are able to fly at 16-18 days old and reach the adult size at about one month. Life Cycle. The Streaked Horned Lark is found on prairies, sandbars, and grassy ocean dunes in western Washington. They also sing in flight and their song consists of a few chips followed by a warbling, ascending trill.