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Friday, February 05, 2016

Friday's Foto

Horned Larks, the only member of the lark family that is native to the new world, are a common winter visitor to coastal Brooklyn. They are named for their horn-like feather tufts, most visible on males. Their breeding range is Alaska and the Canadian Arctic, coastal regions of Canada, and south throughout most of the U.S. They winter from southern Canada southward throughout the U.S. and into northern and central Mexico. They are also found in Eurasia. Preferred habitats include plains, fields, airports, and beaches. The IUCN Red List lists their conservation status as "least concern", however, "The 2014 State of the Birds Report listed them as a Common Bird in Steep Decline, and they rate a 9 out of 20 on the Partners in Flight Continental Concern Score. Loss of agricultural fields to reforestation and development, and human encroachment on the birds’ habitat, are factors in their decline—but the overall trend is not fully understood." Their scientific name, Eremophila alpestris, means "desert loving", "of the high mountains". Look for them around NYC at Floyd Bennett Field, Calvert Vaux Park, Coney Island Creek Park, Riis Park, Ft. Tilden and Breezy Point.

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