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Eremophila alpestris (Shore Lark, Horned Lark / Kulaklı Toygar)

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Eremophila alpestris (Shore Lark, Horned Lark / Kulaklı Toygar)

Eremophila alpestris (Shore Lark, Horned Lark / Kulaklı Toygar) from Bolkar Mt., Ulukışla, Niğde - 24.05.2008.

The Horned Lark breeds across much of North America from the high Arctic south to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, northernmost Europe and Asia and in the mountains of southeast Europe. There is also an isolated population on a plateau in Colombia. It is mainly resident in the south of its range, but northern populations of this passerine bird are migratory, moving further south in winter.

This is a bird of open ground. In Eurasia it breeds above the tree line in mountains and the far north. In most of Europe, it is most often seen on seashore flats in winter, leading to the European name. In America, where there are no other larks to compete with, it's also found on farmland, on prairies, in deserts, on golf courses and airports, and the like.

Unlike most other larks, this is a distinctive-looking species on the ground, mainly brown-grey above and pale below, with a striking black and yellow face pattern. The summer male has black "horns", which give this species its name. The southern European mountain race Eremophila alpestris penicillata is greyer above, and the yellow of the face pattern is replaced with white.

Vocalizations are high-pitched, lisping or tinkling, and weak. The song, given in flight as is common among larks, consists of a few chips followed by a warbling, ascending trill. The nest is on the ground, with 2-5 eggs being laid. Food is seeds supplemented with insects in the breeding season.

In the open areas of western North America, Horned Larks are among the bird species most often killed by wind turbines.

Reference:1. Perrins, C. & Attenborough, D. (1987). Collins New Generation Guide to the BIRDS of Britain and Europe. William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd., Glasgow, 320 pp. 2. WikiPedia.

Author Bayram GÖÇMEN
Created on Saturday 24 May 2008
Posted on Thursday 14 July 2011
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