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Horned Lark

A high-pitched, tinkling birdsong rings across the open, grassy expanse of a field. The song comes from above, as a male Horned Lark hovers on fluttering wings, circling a hundred feet above the ground. Although a locally common nester in some open habitats of the West, the population in general has decreased by 56% in the last 40 years. Loss of suitable habitat is the cause. Read more about the Horned Lark in Audubon's State of the Birds report.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Hovering with Horned Larks

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote!
 [Rapid tinkling song of Horned Lark]
A high-pitched, tinkling bird song – suggesting a tiny, glass wind chime – rings across an open, grassy expanse in Eastern Washington.
[Rapid tinkling song of Horned Lark]
The song repeats, yet no singer is in view. [Rapid tinkling song of Horned Lark]
Look up. The song is coming from above, as a male Horned Lark hovers on fluttering wings, describing a large circle a hundred feet above the ground. Suddenly, the lark drops headlong to earth, flicking his wings at the last instant to break his dive.
[Rapid tinkling song of Horned Lark]
The Horned Lark rivals the Western Meadowlark as one of the most colorful birds of our state’s sage- and grasslands. The size of a large sparrow, the male Horned Lark has a bold black bib and a bright yellow face set off by broad black sideburns and, atop his crown, black feathers he can hold erect like small horns.
Although a locally common nester in the open habitats of Eastern Washington, the Horned Lark of Western Washington is severely threatened. It maintains a small foothold in coastal dunes, but human infringement has all but eliminated this bird west of the Cascades.
[Rapid tinkling song of Horned Lark]
You’ll find a picture of a Horned Lark—and all the other birds we talk about, too—on our web site, BirdNote.org. I’m Frank Corrado.
###

Song of the Horned Lark provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.  Recorded by G.A. Keller.
Producer:  John Kessler
Executive Producer:  Chris Peterson
© 2009 Tune In to Nature.org   Revised for Apr 2009

ID# 042806HOLAKPLU   HOLA-01-2009-04-25

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