Thursday, October 27, 2016

Horned Larks

Winter Birds Are Showing Up 

Horned Larks
We know winter is coming when our winter birds start arriving.  Today I watched five Horned Larks feeding on the ground at the Agricultural Research Station.  They were actively feeding on insects and weed seeds.

The Horned Lark is a medium-sized bird with pale or dark brown upperparts and white underparts.  The face and throat are yellow.  The black mask and cap contrast with the yellow.  This species has small ear tufts but they are not always visible.  They don't show in the photos below.

Horned Lark
Horned Larks are seen most often here during spring and fall migration.  Some, however, are permanent residents in the southern part of the province.  Most of the population breed in Labrador and the far north and spend winters in the USA.  Its preferred habitats are open areas, like fields, airports and beaches.  They nest on the ground in shallow depressions lined with grass.

Horned Larks
 Horned larks are difficult to see when foraging in large areas.  You often notice them when they fly short distances to find new feed.  They are a delight to watch, even if they mean winter is coming!  Please note the above photos were taken at a different time and place than today.

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