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    Horned Lark

    ID Info
    Silhouette LarksLarks

    Horned Lark

    Eremophila alpestris
    • ORDER: Passeriformes
    • FAMILY: Alaudidae
    Basic Description

    Look carefully at a bare, brown field, especially in winter, and you may be surprised to see it crawling with little brown shapes. When they turn, you may see a neat yellow face, black mask, and tiny black “horns” waving in the breeze. Horned Larks are widespread songbirds of fields, deserts, and tundra, where they forage for seeds and insects, and sing a high, tinkling song. Though they are still common, they have undergone a sharp decline in the last half-century.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Horned LarkRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    Horned Larks are small birds that live in large, empty fields—and they’re roughly the same color and size as a clod of dirt. To find them, look for the barest ground around and scan the ground carefully, watching for movement or for the birds to turn their black-and-yellow faces toward you. Also watch the air above open country for flocks of smaller birds flying in dense aggregations (sometimes numbering well into the hundreds, particularly in winter). From late winter into summer, listen for the high-pitched, thin, tinkling song, often given in flight display over suitable open habitats.

    Other Names
    • Alondra Cornuda (Spanish)
    • Alouette hausse-col (French)
    • Cool Facts