Bryan Brillhart Photography Presents “Dig IB” Bird of the Week, the "Horned Lark"!
Jul 15, 2015 02:20PM
By Paul Spear
Bryan Brillhart of Bryan Brillhart Photography presents us with the “Bird of the Week”. The column will provide a picture of a bird(s) locally photographed and we will have background on the bird. This week’s bird is the ““horned lark (Eremophila alpestris)”.
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The horned lark (Eremophila alpestris) is this week's Bird of the Week. I spotted this small sparrow-like male on our beach near the Tijuana River mouth. 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. Except for the central feathers, the tail is mostly black, contrasting with the paler body; this contrast is especially noticeable when the bird is in flight. The summer male has black "horns", which give this species its American name. The horned lark breeds across much of North America. The nest is on the ground, with two to five eggs being laid. Food is seeds supplemented with insects in the breeding season. 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. This was the first time I have seen this species on our beaches. It is a beautifully colored bird and a real treat to spot.