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West Bend, WI 53095

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Quad 30 Bird of the Day

Monday, May 31st
Lockport, Ohio


Horned Lark

Whenever I see extensive agricultural fields that are dominated by row crops, I think of the Horned Lark. This species nests quite early in the Upper Midwest and is quite at home in these seemingly barren agricultural habitats. I tallied 57 larks on the Lockport, OH route, which was dominated by thousands of acres of young corn and soybean struggling to grow in very wet soils. Larks were twittering away and some were doing their courtship flight song at 32 of the 50 stops along the route. The average number of larks seen on Ohio BBS routes is 13.3 and the population is stable according to BBS data. As you might expect, because of the extensive amount of woodlands in Wisconsin, the average is only 5 birds on Wisconsin routes. BBS data indicate a small, non-significant decline of 0.6% per year since 1980 in Wisconsin. Survey-wide, the annual decline is a negative 2.1%, with Canada showing a greater decline than the United States. As our agricultural landscape continues to change, this species needs watching, and the BBS program is a wonderful way to survey this open field bird that is found along our roadsides.

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