Horned Lark


Horned Lark

These medium sized songbirds prefer open habitat that contains relatively bare ground or short grasses. They begin breeding in late February or early March – long  before Spring officially arrives! They nest on the ground, weaving a basket of fine grasses into a shallow depression to hide it from predators. 

Horned Larks are specially adapted to cold weather. Nestlings are born covered in down that provides camouflage and some protection from the weather. Pairs usually nest at least twice in a season.   

Large flocks gather together in winter. They can often be seen in the Washington County Grasslands foraging for seeds in mowed fields and along roadsides... or taking a "snow bath" like the bird at right!

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New York State Status: Special Concern
Federal Status: Not Listed

Photo courtesy Dr. Gordon Ellmers