Friday, August 7, 2015

Juvenile Horned Lark - Juvenile Sprague's Pipit lookalike?

A juvenile Horned Lark may look confusingly like a juvenile Sprague's Pipit, but I'm told by reliable birder sources that the young bird I photographed on the gravel road this summer was indeed a Horned Lark.

Juvenile Horned Lark, on the ranch road through to the North Gillespie land
at Grasslands National Park, SK  © SB

Apart from anything else, Horned Larks like gravel roads, so it makes sense that it was in front of our car, as we drove between sections of the West Block of Grasslands National Park (i.e., instead of hiding off in the grass, like a proper Pipit might do).

This bird also looks more like a juvenile Horned Lark, I'm told, because of its darkish legs, heavy greyish bill, lack of gape and lack of buffiness. (There's an article of Prairie Ice comparing the two, too.)

So if you've come to this page looking for Pipits, perhaps one day I'll be lucky enough to add one to my bird index, but no pix in this post of that bird.

Instead, as this is about Horned Larks, here is the adult male Horned Lark photographed earlier that same day — because this species loves gravel — on the road in Grasslands.

Adult Horned Lark - male, with horns - on the EcoTour Road through Grasslands National Park  © SB

What are these birds? Horned Larks
Location: Grasslands National Park (near the North Gillespie land, and along the EcoTour Road in the West Block) Saskatchewan, Canada.
Photo date: June 22, 2015.   


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