PERCHING BIRDS

LARKS. Family ALAUDID^E

Grayish

[473.] SKYLARK. Alauda arvensis.

Range. Old World, straggling casually to Greenland and Bermuda.

This noted foreigner has been imported and liberated a number of times in this country, but

apparently is not able to

thrive here, a fact which will

not cause much regret when

we remember the experiment

with the English Sparrow.

They are abundant in Europe

and Great Britain where they

nest on the ground in cultivated fields or meadows, laying from three to five grayish eggs, marked with brown, drab and lavender.

474. HORNED LARK.

Otocoris alpestris alpestris.

Range. Eastern North America, breeding in Labrador and about Hudson Bay; winters in eastern United States south to Carolina.

This variety of this much sub-divided species is 7.5 inches in length, ha? brownish gray upper parts and is white below with black patches on the breast and below the eye, yellowish throat and small black ear tufts. The various subspecies are all marked alike, their distinction being based upon slight differences in size, variations in the shade of the back, or the greater or less intensity of the yellowish throat and superciliary stripe. The nesting habits of all the varieties are the same and the eggs differ only in the shade of the ground color, this variation among the eggs of the same variety being so great that an egg cannot be identified without knowing the locality in which it was taken. The present variety build their nests on the ground generally under tufts of grass or in hollows in the moss which is found in their breeding range, making them of dried grasses and generally lining them with feathers. The eggs are grayish with a slight greenish tinge, and are specked and spotted over the whole surface with drab, brownish and dark lavender. The eggs of this and the next variety average considerably larger than those of the more southerly distributed varieties; size .92 x .65.

Horned Lark

474a. PALLID HORNED LARK. Otocoris alpestris arcticola.

Range. Breeds in Alaska and winters south to Oregon and Montana.

This is the largest of the Horned Larks and has the throat white, with no trace of yellow. Its nest is built in similar locations and the eggs are like those of the preceding species.

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THE BIRD BOOK

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474b. PRAIRIE HORNED LARK.

Otocoris alpestris praticola.

Range. Breeds in the Mississippi Valley from Illinois north to Manitoba and east to the Middle States; winters south to Carolina and Texas.

This sub-species is considerably smaller than the Horn ed Lark, and the throat is paler yellow, while the line over the eye and the forehead is white. They are the most abundant and have the most extended range of any of the better known species. In the Mississippi Valley, where they are of the most common of the nesting birds, they build on the ground in meadows or cultivated fields, and very often in cornfields; the nests are made of grasses and lined with horse hairs or feathers, and placed in slight hollows generally under a tuft of grass or sods. They raise two broods a season and sometimes three, laying the first set of eggs in March and another in June or July. The three or four eggs have an olive buff ground and are thickly sprinkled with drab and lavender; size .83 x .60.

474c. DESERT HORNED LARK. Otocoris alpestris leucolcema.

Range. Plains of western United States, east of the Rockies and west of Kansas and Dakota; breeds north to Alberta, and winters south to Mexico, Texas and southern California.

This species is like praticola, but paler on the back; nest and eggs the same.

474d. TEXAS HORNED LARK. Otocoris alpestris giraudi.

Range. Coast of southeastern Texas.

A pale variety like leucnlwma, but smaller; throat bright yellow, and breast tinged with yellow. Nest and eggs like those of the others.

474e. CALIFORNIA HORNED LARK. Otocoris alpestris actia.

Range. Lower California and southern California.

This bird is similar to the last but the yellow areas are brighter, and the nape and back are ruddy.

474f. RUDDY HORNED LARK. Otocoris alpestris rubea

Range/ Sacramento Valley, California.

This variety has the yellow areas brighter than in any other and the back and nape are more ruddy. The eggs cannot be distinguished from those of the others.

Olive buff

PERCHING BIRDS

474g. STREAKED HORNED LARK. Ostocoris alpestris strigata.

Range. Northwestern United States (Washington, Oregon and northern California).

Similar to the last, but with the back broadly streaked with black, the ruddy less intense and the underparts tinged with yellowish.

474h. SCORCHED HORNED LARK. Otacoris alpestris adusta.

Range. Western Mexico, north in summer to southern Arizona.

This variety has the back and nape nearly a uniform pinkish ruddy with but little streaking.

4741. DUSKY HORNED LARK. Otocoris alpestris merrilli.

Range. Northwestern United States and southern British Columbia, wintering south to central California.

Similar to praticola but slightly darker above.

474j. SONORA HORNED LARK. Otocoris alpestris pallida. Range. Gulf coast of northern Lower California. The upperparts of this variety are very pale pinkish brown.

474k. HOYT'S HORNED LARK. Otocoris alpestris hoyti.

Range. Interior of British America, west of Hudson Bay and east of Alaska, south in winter in the interior of the United States to Kansas.

Much larger than the last; equal in size and similar to articola but with the throat yellowish and the upperparts darker and brighter.

4741. MONTEZUMA HORNED LARK. Otocoris alpestris occidentalis.

Range. Western New Mexico and eastern Arizona, south in winter to northern Mexico.

This variety has the upperparts pale brownish and not streaked; throat and forehead yellowish.

474m. ISLAND HORNED LARK. Otocoris alpestris insularis.

Range. Santa Barbara Islands, California.

Similar to strigata but darker. With the exception of the three large varieties of Horned Larks found north of our borders, neither the eggs nor, in most cases, the birds can be identified without the precise location where they were taken.

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