The horned larks and their relation to agriculture

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Title:
The horned larks and their relation to agriculture
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Book
Creator:
McAtee, W. L ( Waldo Lee ), 1883-1962
Publisher:
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Biological Survey ( Washington, D.C )
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77

HUME LIBRARY
INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND
AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Gainesville




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410




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LETTER OF TRANSNMAL
U. S. DEPARTMENT Or AGRICULTURE,
BrotoexcAL SURVEY,
Washingqton., D. C., Sep~temnber 1, 1905.
r:I have the honor to transmit herewith for publication as Bul-
'n No. 23 of the Biological Survey a report on the Horned Larks
their Relation to Agriculture, by W. L. McAtee, an assistant in
Biological Survey. The horned larks, though of small size, formi
important group economically because of their very general distri-
ton, their great numbers, and their food habits. As a result of
present investigation it appears that though these birds feed to
e extent upon grain, the actual damage done is slight, because the
eaten is mostly waste. On the other hand, the birds aire shown to
very largely upon insects and weed seeds, among which are some
the worst pests that the farmer has to contend with. The horned
rktherefore, should be classed among the species highly beneficial
agriculture.
Respectfually, C. HAR MERRIAM3,
Hon. JAMES IMON, C k Sry
Secretary of Agriculture.
3




k4o




CONTENTS.
Page.
distribution and habits --------------------------------------------------- 7
eml food habits and economic relations -------------------------------- 8
Vegetable food ------------------------------------------------------- 12
G rain ----------------------------------------------------------- 13
W heat ------------------------------------- ---------------- 13
Corn -------------------------------------------------- ------ 16
Oats --------------------------------------------------------- I
Other grains and forage plants -------------------------------- 18
W eeds ----------------------------------------------------------- 19
Fruit -------------------------------------------------------------- 22
-Miscellaneous vegetable food -------------------------------------- 22
Animal food --------------------------------------------------------- 22
Insects ---------------------------------------------------------- 22
Miscellaneous animal food ---------------------------------------- 27
M ineral matter ------------------------------------------------------- 28
Nestling and other young horned larks ------------------------------------ 28
ood of the horned larks of California compared with that of the other forins- 30
Summary ..... ---------------------------------------------------------- 32
ist of seeds, fruits, and invertebrates eaten by horned larks ---------------- 34
adex ................................................................... 36
5




PLATE Horned larks feeding on amaran,
II. Seeds of certain troublesome wee
TEXT Fl(--'
Fiw,. 1. Diagram showing the proportions o
horned larks of the United State
species Olocors at. tictia, for every
2. Diagram showing the proportions of
adult horned larks for every mont
3. Predaceous beetle (Agoiod(ras piij
4. June bug ( Lachnoste na areada) am(
5. Destructive fLea-beetle (Ph yllotreta r
6. P~ale striped flea-beetle ($ysteiw blan
7. lfhlricated-sinut beetle (E'perus i
8. Tineid mnoth wvith larva and cocoon-.
9. Tarnished plant bug (Lgas pratesi
10. Chinch hug ( Bli~sss leicoptri8) ---
11. Greater striped flea-beetle (Asii 'ch
12. Columns showiing the proportions
eaten by the following: A, Califorit-
C, Total number exaiiined exchiusii
13. Diagram showing the proportions
the Califoria horned lark (Otocor
'yea r -- - - - - - -




HORED ARK oANDiiiiiiiii THI RELATION
............... A G R I C U L T U R E ,i~iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii~~iiiiiiiiiiii~~iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii....
DISTRIBUTIONiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii AN HANHITS.
T h e HH Hho r n e d la r k s a r e s m a ll b u t h a r d v b ir d s w h ic h f r e q u e n t th e o p en ..
unr adnve iv nfoets hy r fu i n a great var iety
i s it uiat io n s an d f e e d a lo n g r o a d s in w e e d L o r f r e s h ly p lo w e d fi e ld s,
........... iii iiiiiiiio riiiiiiiiii o t h e r w a s t e p l a c e s a n d i n c lo s e ly g r a z e d p a s t u r e s,
........ a d o w s a n d s t u b b le fi e ld s T h e b e a c h e s a n d s a lt m a r s h e s o f t he
. ............... tii toe la k ei sh o r e s ,ii iiiiii i iii m u d d y fila s aiiid siiiiiiiw a m psi o fii theiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiii i iiiiiii iiiiiii iiiiiiii in t eriiiiii i i iiiori a reiii i iii ~!iii iiiiiiii
t h r o n g e d w it h t h e m in f a ll a n d w in t e r I n t h e f a r N e s t t h e v liv e in
t desert valleysioniaiditable-landsion leveligrassyiprairies, i
e foothillsiandievenionibareimountainipeaks.
T h ey a rei iiiriiii eadiiiiiiii idistiiing u isihed........... iiiiiiiiii.............mialliiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiiiiiiiiii= -biiiiiiis-
y ar bu|tesz f h leirter hot rew ieo
elo ,teei osiu u lc mr costebesadjs
abv an bein th ysaes alpine tuft ofiiiolre
'feahers which ar ofte erctd Ths lc utso on r
-prhp the bidsm s hrceitcfaue'ni orgnt h
comm n n me hornd lrk, bywhic itis now ove mot o th
United, Staes 4 Shr ak sante o m nn me h u hals
apt one h aiu u seisaedsig ihd 1y n m swi
tn e anie ofteson dig ftebr ro t p erne
....e desrt scrhd n aldh redlr en x m lso
esedeigaton. es o te Msssspp svealnaes indi i
of lh*ebr' aisaeu la og h mbig'rii id,-ra
.. ... .. ...... .... .. ............ .... .....d............. .. ...... .. ................. .......... .. .. ... ............ .. .. .. .. ... ..... ...... .. ... .. .. .. ... ... .. . .. ... ... .. ... .. .... ........... .. .. .. ...... .. ..'i
ri .'.li f e...................i...................., 1 1 0 d o u b t ,ii i t o=== ===== itiiiiiire a p p e a r a n c e iiiiiiiiiiiliiiiiiin t he= === v e r n a iiiliiiiiiiii iiiiiiii iii
On. |||li id
Man of ithe popula na e fteh re lrse p aietefc
atteyaepre innl eresti biii~~i~~iii~ i~iiiiiii i ie dayithey ru
..... over theiii surfaceiiiii~i~iiiii iniiiiiiil quest of food; at nigh the roost i i smalliiiiiiiiiiiii
mpai iei on the barei earth.iAiclod ori stone isia favorite perch, andi
y.................................. a r r a r e lyiiiiiii s e e n!iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiil in$ aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii b u s hiiiiiiiioiiiiitiiiiieiiii
Thy.es.aryt..irt.luc.o..g ofte b ig completed before
sno has', diap eaed The nests are of the impiiiilesti dei t i on7iiiiiii
ili ii iiiiiiililii; i iiiiiib l ii iiiii iiiiiii iii illliiiiiiiiiiiii iii iii7




broods are raised in a year, a fact which sufficiently expl
numbers of the species in some localities.
The flight of the horned larks is hesitant. They us
riedly from the ground, uttering short, whistled notes,
characteristic of them that frequently when disturbed th
away for a short 'distance, only to swing around and a]
starting point. In the mating season, however, they a
heights and, like the skylark, sing while on the wing.
neither complex nor loud, but it is wild, joyous, and f
spirit of the prairie and the open fields.
The birds thus characterized occur at some time of t
parts of North America, except the Aleutian Islands,
coastal portion of Alaska, extreme southeastern Unite
Central America. This vast range is occupied by onl
which, however, varies so greatly in different localities t
separated int o no fewer than twenty-one varieties or sul
During the breeding season these geographic forms are
separate areas, but in winter, on account of the tendency o
races to wander and of the northern ones to migrate, I
mingle, and as many as seven (Arizona) or eight (Gal
occur in one State. In summer in the United States (incl
there are fifteen subspecies of horned larks, and in win-
The several members of the family Alandide, which
forms, are interesting birds. Their habit of walking, ii
ping, distinguishes them from many small ground bird,
long hind claws, the prints of which in the snow or alo
shores of ponds often indicate where the larks have t
They molt but once a year, usually in August, while ma
twice and a few three times. The nuptial dress is act
molting, but by the wearing away of the tips of the wi
revealing the brighter colors beneath. The plumage c
generally neutral in tint, especially when viewed from
harmonizes with their surroundings that it has a protect
enables the birds, in a measure, to escape the notice of e
GENERAL FOOD HABITS AND ECONOMIC RELAY
A preliminary report upon the food of the horned lh
Walter B. Barrows, formerly of the Biological Survey,
in the Report of the Secretary of Agriculture for 1892.
a For descriptions and ranges of the subspecific forms the reader is
Oberholser's' Review of the Larks of the Genus Otocoris;' Proceedi
Nat. Museum, Vol. XXIV, pp. 801-880, 1902.




GENERAL FOOD HABITS.
teexamination of 59 stomachs. A much larger amount of
I is available for- the present paper, no fewer than 1,154
fmchs having been examined. The present mnate. rial represents also
much greater area, coming f romi no fewer than twenty-five States
and Territories, and in addition the District of Columbfia, Ontario,
Saskatchewan, and MVackenzie. Among the specimens collected are
inestling, adolescent, and adultt birds, including representatives of
'eleven subspecies.
The food habits of the several f ormis are very similar with the excep-
tion of the central and southern California bird (Otocorie, alpestri8
acta Oberh.), which is so anomalous in its feeding habits that it has
beeh deemed advisable to treat it also separately.
Professor Barrows found that the horned Isrks examined by him
had 'consumed during the year 11.42 percent of animal matter and
88.58 percent of vegetable
matter. T he present in- la E S 4 ARN N 6L U CP ~ OPC
Yestigation results in a -
somewhat different show- so- -0-- -s
j ing for the bi rds, there be-
ig in the food more insects
afid less vegetable ele-
ments, or 20.6 percent ofI/" 4 16
animal and 79.4 percent of 00
vegetable matter.--- -
From the accompanying 2* -1 -7--- 0 --s
chart (fig. 1) the propor-.L....
tions of the components of a /0
th oo o ec mnhFla. 1.-Diagram showing the proportions of animal and
may be seen at a glance. vegetable food of the horned larks of the United States,
Very little animal matter exclusive of the members of the subspecies Otocor-isa. actia,
for every month in the year. [Reatd the column of figures
is obtained during the win- on the left from the bottom upward for the percentage of
ter months. The few in- animal food, and the column on the right from the top
downward for the percentage of vegetable food. The area
sects alive at this season below the curve .represents the total amount of animal
are ususly well concealed food for the year, and that above, the vegetable food.)
and the wonder is that the birds obtain any of them. In January,
animal matter, consisting principally of weevils and cocoons of tineid
moths, composes only 1.73 percent of the food. In February about
the same things are eaten, but in larger amount, making 3.11 per-
"cent. ,The percentage rises rapidly in March and April, principally
because of an increase in the number of weevils, caterpillars, and bugs
-eaten, although beetle larnfe and leaf beetles also aire consumed in
larger amount.. In these months the horned larks obtain respectively
15.72 percent and 27.31 percent of animal matter. April is the first
awanth when the amount of animal matter eaten is inexcess- of the
7876-No. 23-05--2




annilfodinMy -e.vevl, a
knon s Jnebus),caerpllrs
the influence of h aut, hc
eate In -June lhanin'Ilbt e
bl b~e aout h sm n ahninl
ofQ the ouang birds. i The osm
inects in May is the esut o t
adolescen larks. : The frner bil
pretage in MayST while the adoles
site trait, te-nd to low7Per the pereen
When thie diet of the adults alon
aniialfood for the lat~tter art of th(
ilium comes, as in the cae ofa re-
(ee fig). 2.) Two factors tendr3 to ra-
in tbiis nitli--first, the nlt, w
crete a ravenous appetite fo ~r stich
dance of insects, patiuary lras
the bulk Of thw aninial food of ni:
horne(Id Itarks eat etia cniderablle nuiru
sunie a reater nuniber? of Nveev~rrilsf 1
.sal, inconpicuously~ coored in sei&Q
icipient pests oOf the oskid
the foo(I in August. fte ths n
derertases t-apidlgl. Catepilhr i
hwid anCXtad canabsid bl heeflesare Soon en~ ~X"
in the enith-e year I'm- the osnp
D~ecemb~ter, when o-nly I percent i




or N LARKS.l
,*hm fi~ an~maimatter s eaten nd the mount o vegeta
at it maxmumconsierabe grin 's conumed butabou
eri such unimpor- -
of which are commonly eaten.o
the skylark, in recog- go 0
Ptember 15 -a but at other 60
numbers for f ood.
Y in the year.~
ago te maketsof mny o
our arge cites wre aundatly uppled wth tem. his raffc ha
not enrely cased a the pesenttime. n 18911 W. E Bryan wrot
6onceningthe arkeing f honed arks
.0
For n idefnitenumer f yers her hav ben epose fo sae intheinaket
of San rancisc sinall Califonian bids, theso-calld 'ree
rd.'A a Fanico'redbrd gnralyspain i
orned lrk (Otooris), nown tothe maret men nd pot hunter fio furish the
'bea bids. Fifeenyeas ormor ag thi bid ws alios th onl spcie
Ile fo ths -urose bu th lng-ontnue, prsstet sayig f tis peces
er wth he icrese o setlemnimakng i neessay t jouneyfarter fte
MP asreuledinthesusttuio o mot nyoterspcie o aou te am
in lac ofthe. Te 4nnul dstrctin mst tnont o mn)
de.i"'"
Howeer, f reent earsthe conmic alueof hrnedlark IM
me beter unerstoo, andat prsent tey ar proteted trough
. .. .... . .. .... - .. ... ... .. ... .... ... .... .... ... .... .... . ..... ...
Heran Frs, eusclad' ultlihe ndsc~dice glp.63 193
-075e, I, pp 142144,1891




noss of the country they inhabit, they are always
danger from hawks and owls, and the following a
known to kill them: Red-tailed hawk, red-shoulde
hawk, prairie falcon, and burrowing and screech ov
capture them.
While the fondness of the horned larks for open cou
them to the attacks of rapacious birds, in farming reg
to live on cultivated land, where they enjoy the pi
Here they are but slightly affected by the farming
drive away many birds. They build their nests
exposed situations, and neither woods, shrubbery, I
ing growths are needed to induce them to nest on the
the wheat fields, pastures, and meadows not yet
chosen as nesting sites; early summer finds them
brood in the fields of young corn, and still more b
their homes in the stubble fields. In winter, feeding
and all open fields are favorite foraging grounds, ar
be seen searching for food along the much-frequen
For several years the writer knew of a meadow v
built their nests and reared their young. They fed
road and in a cornfield opposite, and were to be fou
through. From these facts it appears that at every
lark is closely identified with the farm and thus
welfare.
Of the birds examined for the purposes of this bu
panied by full data, about four individuals were take
to one taken in uncultivated places. About one-h
number had eaten insects, somewhat over a third
of some kind, and practically all had eaten weed sect
elsewhere, most of the grain is obtained along roa
,and hence no injury is done to the farmer. Of the nt
from farming regions all had eaten weed seeds, nin
sued in sects, and about one-half had taken grain. '
occur far from cultivated lands, while not directly
farmer, undoubtedly aid him indirectly by destrovin
and weeds which might spread to the farlms.
VEGETABLE FOOD.
No less than 79.4 percent of the food of the hori
table matter. Of a total of 1,154 birds examined




G R A ILW N=iiiii=iiiiiliii Hi~iiH~iiiii .............
le~~~~~~ ~~ ~ mtewieisoefrorohrimaeuth nie
stbwach~~~~iiiii conent ofi 6ii.iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiifoo ae eprsete
no[ fewer= tha 105 species of plns iihiis grea vaiet ma beiii ci ui sed
foicnmccosdrto ndrteflown ed:W es forage
......... take in ini ion amo nts
W e r e.. a ll o f t h e ig i in= e a t e n b y h o r n e d la r k s a d ir e c t lo s s t o t he == iiiiiiiiiiiill~iiiiiiiiiiii~i=iii= iiii~iiiii~iiiiii=iiiiiiii~ii
farmer thei damagei wouldibe cons idrbe Bu sIIIIII u chII i siiii r ot the
e w e .iiii A s w o u l d b e e x p e c t e d f r o m b i r d s s o e s s e n t ia l ly t e r r e s t r ia l in iiiiiiiiiiiiiii)iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii ii
habits hone lark do no nuesadn rinldhyfe
u p o n g r a...in ii i .iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiii~iiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii]iiiiiiiii)iiiii iiiii s t a c k a n di s h o c k s T h riniiith e yiiiiobita iniiiifr o miiiiiiii
su rfa ce is e iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii n e w ly, so w n se ed o r w a ste a n d a s tiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie la tte riiii iiiiiiiiiiiiii~iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii lo s t
th e fa r e r n a yieen t i i si~l~liiiiiiiiiiiiiii~iiiiiii sa fe toiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii co cl d th a tiiiiiiiiii w h te e d a m agei iiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
sesn n nuy i greater in C lifi a thaniiiiii elsewhere. D i ls!~ -
........................................ th e! ra v ag e o fii th e==iii la rk sin t i i S ta t a re= gi= )ii ii=i=iiiiii il l iiii i i iv e b y se v e raiiiiiiiiili co rreii=iiiii- iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
s p o n d e n ts ........ E a to niii o fi Riiiiiiiii~ii iv e r daiiii~iii~ii~~l~~liiiiiii~~~~~i~ii~iii~ le,)iiiiiiiiiiiiii~~ F r e s n C o u n t yii w r= )))) )))))) ) !ili~iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii= ite s ~iiiiiiiiiiii~lllilli~i s u b
sta n tia llii a sii fo llo w s :iiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii~
Ii b e lie v t h e w o s p e sts i n t bi rdiil~iiiiiiiiii== iiiiiiiiiiiiii~~iii~liiiiiiiiii l in e fa r m e rsiilii ii~iiii~i~liiiiii =ii !iliiiiiliii== iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiliiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii li!! ~ii~~iiii~~ii iiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiii h a v e to e n u r a r eiiiiii th e h r e
lak. nw nte the co ei huadin a ha o nbodats al
thtIhv a od iii.Televth whlwhaoeerasonashy
fL' i !a n hthssrue.Te hnslctsos eeal hr hr aebe
sm e weeds, an pulu, n ve cach nth n ro hn hebtert e
at th w h o le In su ch p laces !!iiiii~ n ot a i stalkiiiiiiiiii~~i~i~~ii )) ) ( i i~iiiiiii~~iiiiiiii~iiii~~iiiiii~ii~ii~i)))i i ~iii!~iii ii~i)i)iiiiiii~ii leftiiiiliii))) staind in g .iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii~
M.iiiiii S. Feahestne ofGohnTlare County hi ch i s)! i the
m id s t o fli iiiilii t h eiiiiiiiibies tiiiiiiiwh e aiiiiiit-iiiiiiiwiiin g i!i s ei ctii!i i oniiiiiiiiiiii ioiiifiiiiiiiii t hei S ta t e s a y s: iiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiliii~iiii ii~i~iiii ~iiii~ i iiiiiiiii!!i!iiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiii
Smal brown bids whic we cal wheat id r qite!~iiiiiiiiii ii~ nu eru du ingi~l the iiiiiiiiiiiii
soin seso som yers Tenor twelve years ago the were unsull acivei and
.m a n y p e o p le so w e d p o iso n e d w h ea t a n d le ft it o n to p o f th e g ro u n d to d e stro y th em) ) ) )
b efor th e regul r sow ing I ad aboutiiii 4 acresiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii ii l eftiiliiii n otiiiiiiiii~l~iiiiiiiiiiiiii h arro w ediiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii on e Satu rd ayi~iiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiliiiiiiiiiii === = ===
nihadevr en liiii~iiiiii was goneii ii~~i byii Monda morin, i up iiiiii!!i~l by i tihe wheatiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii
b iird siiiiiiiiii a n m e a d o w.......................... D u r ing))))) )t))l )))))) ))) ) ))))))))))) la t t er)))) p a rt)) o f)) J a n u a r y a))= )) )))) ))))) )) ) ))))) )) ))) )) )))) t he ) fi r s t p a r t o f ) iiiii
Fe ru r last year== (1895 wh a b=,, i rdsiii wer pi l= iiii =i =,ilentii il and diiidi much damage. Theiiiiii~ = i== ~i==iii= =iiiiiiiiiii iii = ii==
early sown grain was not injured by them. Iiiiii puti outii someiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiipoisonediiiiiigriainiiiiiiigiiillon
ors)mn y ospikdu bu 0 i a fe ly.iyloond munn
dove..... and som medo lak (a doe rto.Itin th whair aii pull
upte potiggri.Ths ilirdsiii are i yieloii onte hot n fyi
Rocks I hve nt no icdte exetith ealspng




Such direct evidence as the abovc
establishes beyond doubt that in wh
the horned lark is a pest, and this c
results of stomach examinations.
Before discussing these it will be
grain raising in California. The
river valleys and the coastal region
the important wheat-growing areas,
that the hornied larks ar-e most nui
time. Thi, occurs i January and
,summer (Augrust and Septemb~er) he
diately after it if the soil can not be
two periods in the Year during whi
the larks.
Sin~ee horned larks are present onl
sowing season, the possibilities of i
mo0re over, that the birds present eat
that none of it wis found in the stomach
California, in number over 150, whi(
the end of the year.
During the winter sowing, however
and then it is that complaints are n
complaints which our investigations
constituted 14.1 percent of the food
anid 74 percent of that of 5 birds tak(
the wheat taken in Janary was in t
Escondido, San Diego Comity, and
tents. rphe high percentage of wheat
due to the small nur1ber of specin
of these, however, Were nShot from -
posed to be pullig wheat" aind thu 1-
also, were takeiin at Escoidido, andi(
cent of wheat.
These facts justify the conclusio
whenever they can find it, It forn
food of the California horned larks,




GRIiAiOO.1
.....e is greater tha im le by tiiiiiiHo ev itiiiiiii i siiiiiiiii to
== ~ ~ that= all of... the w h at eat n t hi time com es fro fields..................................................
... .... ..............................................r m e r s t
th ed h eybs rtciv nesr-i lln! Lot
-mr hnbodatnecp o eysalaes n eie
eNiltl rtcig h ha rmtebrdi a h ute
41 ,v n a e h ti n r a e h y ed p ra r n l o i p o e h
,qaionn egan
.~ J o ep M a l ia d of S n G r n m ,n C u t C l w ie
(J ly iiii9iiii5iii :
Ii=== G r in is d rillediii in to q uite an extentiii no w b ut th eiiiiiiliiiiiiiiiiiiiiliiiii m aj oriiiiiiiiiity ofi theii iiiii largeiiiii grain fi elds iiiiliiiil=! iiiiii~iiiiiiiiiii!==!~liill iiiiiiiii
-are sown wihtebodcsigmc i o]ii accun ofi iiii i greterra idi T i leaves
...... y r ofexerene i tiliori in country,~ say Jl yi~ii~
1 9i0 5i) :== = i i~ i ili ii i i i i i ii =iiii~iiiiili iii ii iiiiiiiil iilii~~iiiiiili=ii iiiiiliili iiillli~i ii! iliiiliiiiiiiliii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiliiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiii ii iiliii iiii ii iiiii
A si fia ri iasiiiiii i m yiii oiiiiibse r v a tio n g o e s th e re is le ss w h e a t p la n te d b y d r ills la te y eaiiiirsi tiih aniiiiii!iiiiiiii!lii iiiiiiiii
f oiii riime r l y .i =iii i ii iii i i iii ii ~iii i li il i i iiii iiiiii iiii i~ i iiiiiiiii iii iiiiliiiiiiii= i~= ii i iiiiiiiiii
Cocrnn .... depreation of theiiiksihiiiinues
- I ca n sa y p o sitiv e ly th a t th e d a m a g e d o n e b y t ese b ird s in C a lifo rn ia is n ot
woth oftelatcnieain eas h hr ak r o ueosadw
ae miloso ce fwet ieormedwlr n rwrsbakid h
dam~~e done by them~~ ~ wol onl be notcebl on ai small fie ofi wha ha a
muhltrtatajiigwha ils uulk hemao akadbakid
It doe no prb th grudfrtewetkre-tmeeyet itewetta
hae bere thi closel iin Butteii anditiis countyiand a positive theistatem iit
It appears tha inur fromi thlrk isi, ee als in the spring-=
wheati reio of hecnta pan.Chrls in, f ilba
S. Da. rts
Thr is a Ndcle ha idta cmsi al pigi ra
numbers w hen t eiiiiiiiiiiiswingigiainian iiiiiiiiiii gr i leftiiliiiiiiiiiieiground i iiii i
!ery soo pickedup.
P. Lindley of St A nsgar S. Da co r bo a e tiiii iiii.... i byi the.... i-iiii.. iiiiliiiill
loigtsioy
Th os id ehv n aoaaesalparebid.Te a ha hl
it i be~g own.The ar smal, uts numrou tht tl(.,v tke oe-tirdto n(-
hal ofteco fi slf noee o adyo w.Ted o i ha
ot bu iki pbfoei scvrd




almost every case I found grains of wheat. These bird, in
buntings and chestnut-collared buntings, are here in millions fro
May 15. They pick up all uncovered kernels first and then a
shoots appear above ground they follow up the rows and pull
only the sprouted kernel, and leave the leaf lying on the grou
break off a great many more than they uproot, but still they t
quite an extent. In earlier years, before we began using drills f(
always counted on one-half bushel to the acre for the grain birds
would pick up that amount. I know of fields that had to be seE
time where the arrows were not kept close up to the seeder
driven to poisoning wheat and scattering around the fields. Of
notice these birds so much. I suppose on account of the increa
are more scattered, and also on account of the press drills putt
for the birds to uproot.
As in the case of the California larks, stomach exan
field observations with regard to the grain-eating a
of the central plains wheat region. Of 23 stomachs
collected here in April and the same number in A
contained wheat. Seven of these were collected a
newly sown wheat field at Kennedy, Nebr., and all
average amount for the 7 was 28.4 percent, an n.
taken more than 35 percent. The remainder of the
seeds. These were seeds of sunflower, tumblewee.
Thus the birds which had made something over a fou
of wheat had eaten nearly three times that amount of
worst weeds in the country. If fully a third of thei
wheat, the average percentage of grain for the wh
only slightly over 7 percent, an amount clearly too t
the condemnation of the birds, especially in view of
remainder of their food consists of the seeds of noxi
It is of importance to note that the complaints qt
made several years ago when broadcast sowing was t
correspondence shows that drilled fields of wheat ar
from injury by the birds.
CORN.
Corn constitutes 4.097 percent of the food of the hort
it is alwa ys planted rather deeply, seed corn is quite o
and even grins lying on the surface in a condition
probably not eaten by these birds, since the grain i"
swallowed whole, and their weak bills are entirely ii




GRAI AS. FOOD 17iiiiiii~ii i
of- --- reakii ngu hekre.Tewite acedhre iiiilarksiiiiiiiiii
eh ti oniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii~iiil prair e lan in I diana w here m any hole grains of corn
w emiiiiiiiiiiiiiil ........... abo utiiiiii" an d fou nd that th ey p assed the m by .iiii ii~ i iii!~i~~i~iiiiiiiii~~iiiiiiii~~~i~~ i i~i ii~~~i~~ii~~ii~~i~~~iiiiiii~iiiii
Nearly alli~i of the corniii consumediiiiii i i i s obaind i n theiiiiiiiii w~ii!ii ii iiiii iiiii= i nter and nioneiiiii =
iis eaten.i......t,...ptembr,.an..O..o.r..Many.f....ents take
in wne r eceigyhr andaprnlaeno muh fec d
by dietin aneh ak w udcranyaebdyi i of th i
f o o d:::::: w e r e o f t h is c h a r a c t e r ; b u t g le a n in g c o n s t a n t ly a s t h e y d o a lo ng==== ===================================================================================================================== =========================== =================================================
cornN eate bytehre ak is wate an e i s of no valu to
taken, aswl sta fwet i! conse byi thiore arso
C a i o n a T h el! .................................................................. ... ......... ... .... .. .. ..... .. ..1 p r e t o t e i
'food w h lein= irliieislt=iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiof iiiiii th e co u n triy thiei lairksii iiiii iiiii iiiiii co n sumiiiiei o nly 4 .86 p er-i ii!iiiiiiiiiiiiii!ii!!i ~i iiiiii ii= i~ f! i iiii iii iiiiii iiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiliillll=!iiiiiii
c n D r n s oi t i iiiie!i iiniiii t h e c o u n t r y e a s t o f t h e R o c k i es o n ly
a ml ecnaeo asi etn n idwscletdin el
-sw!a il nMciaM rh3,adn rc fot a on
in it'somch
-N ea rly n i e t b ........ a ll.t.e.at..co..med.....e.......... a te
diii t h m o n t h f i~i~ ii S e p t e m b eriii ii =i iii ili~iiiii iiiiiiiill~iiiiii ii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiii!i iiiii iiiiiiiiii t o J a n u a r y !i I n t h e E a s t
eritts l r i eateniatiti eni s waiiii !iiiiiste bu iiit s e so in-i
C alifo rnliii i n O cto b er o riiliiiiiiiii in F eb ruary oats eate i niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii tisiiiiiiiiiiiiii S tateiiiilliiiii ~!!iiiiiiiiiiiililiiiiiiiiiiiii~
duringiiii tiiiii months mayii lesse theiiiiii crop.iiiiiiiii~iiiiiii Noi horned larks were col-iiiii
le ed in= wly sw oaf i iiiiiin iri a bu ridtaacmpn
..... th id tse sta tbl feigi o mnhbtfr
O c t o b e r*iiiiii itoiiiiJiainiiiua r iiii. i W h e rei ti iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiniiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisiiiiii b r o k eniiiiiiii iiiiii~ii iiiiiiii ii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiii~iiiilll~iiiii iiiiii ii ii ii iiiiiiiiiii~iiii u p iiiiii y e arii t heiiiii
s t b l r iin ii~iii is iiiiiiiiiii o f iiiiiiiiiiii n oiiiiiiiiiii c o n s e q u e n c e ; b t ifiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii~iilliiiiiiiiiiiii aiiivii lu n t e e r c r op iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiisiiiiiiiiiiiiiiid eiipie n d ediiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiiii iiiiiiii
on thneeygantkn rmasubefedlesn @ tced
crp Ee n...lte.cs.weeitmstb.dmte tha h
lrsd acetIN a on fijri us o efrotnta
thyea nt ndweil whic ar.ij....tocop,....ia te
deorteseso ed hc mgtrne h a rpams




less than 1 percent of the total f
grain.
Some slight injury to a few of ti
here. Professor Barrows in his re
birds which were taken in a new
Most of these birds had eaten mi
the only instance noted in which tl
eaten cultivated millet, though th(
of the wild species. Some grasses (
among the forage plants, but most
as weeds. To sum up this part of
any injury to forage plants is d(
trilling for serious consideration.
The loss to grain growers throu
is not, however, to be waived ask
true that on most farms in the Un
to feed all the wild birds that occui
that is not waste, as in the instanc
that the shore larks destroy a certa
that whenever the damage to crop
easier as well as a better method <
wholesale destruction. It is the p
keep in repair fences about grain I
ing the crops, and no one thinks
break through. We simply stre
should be dealt with in the same fa
to the fact that they are generally
the damage they occasionally do
wholly prevented by simple and
modern press drill in sowing grain




WEE SEED ASFO.1
-'to..... prvn=rcial l ftedm g ogancosb h
laks
ly, it ma..sid i.h.ir' ao ta tte os
get ri omtehre ak sitigetadta ti
or hncutraacdb h go oetruhtedsre
of harfu inet an h edo njroswe .
:: N'WEEDS.
Th plnt !oii ykona edfrmterijrosefc
n agieltre ar oeipotn hnanifteote nme
1e&mr Thyrbtesiofisnrtvelmnado it
stradtu eueteieo rp.Te r otybry
ru plns n hd n coeottem e i ct pla ni ts ofi iu i
-tvtin Mayfugu isae fca,iii f u tan ther of sc
iqrssadrtdpn o hircniuneuo ed sitre
-d e oss Schwed a hemutrd aeesecalywelknwna
............ p i a y h s s o r u t S m w e d p o o n sto c k -,.............................................................
orbr fohr esntevleo ol eie bein th caso
'Anyac toalaiaso tefr n om i Ithsan i n
ihuadohrwy wed inuetefre.Te arprsn
eveywhre an thi ubr iie nlyb h aaiyo h
soladteetn faalbesae asn opriua xm l
ofterfcniy emymntinta igepato ot
(Plate | 11 i.A, h ed f hc eeeae ynaly30o h
hone lrseaieasbeknw topoue1300sda n
ai ln frdro tmlwe) heseso hc r h odnx
prfrrd la rdcd1500ses uhrpoutv oesi
ucekdwudrslsonicoei th nir surfac of t|e
eat it ed. vnasi s tesra...l otis o m n
sed htte fe emt osiueacnieal ecnaeo
iits buk At AmsIw qaerdo rudin! a 1 va n wi
haieni oaosteya eoeadcliae ihahe
yielded~~~~~ ~ ~ ~ 187,88 plant o eihcm onw ................ an it
alis hc r ra et npraetlwvi dte edso
wi areae freyb tehondlrsocri eegrar
nu br rfso elsae hteahsur ure f.l nl l
hi grdn n M ryan, he itci vae in th srnicotite
at...... least....... on ................. ofc a r s U o h sba i h u b r o h lt
to a qaerdii6724ihe ime th edieectof u




tie animentary canat inl a concti
ir1e ad muscular gizzards.
ntih hard antid toughi-coated
tiantity of gravel. It hias I
dined action of the grizzard ai
his lark is crushed. Even ti
,i am succumb to its action.
hape most difficult to crush,
maranth and oxalis are grou
eISCemble red pepper. Amo
Trist for these destructive u1
ountry. Of a list of 100
roublCeSoAme ill thie United
licluded ill the diet of these b.
Inal-tweeds, billdweedsl fitif
he cr-,b1 and barn grasses arc
he list, bei ng found inl 347
atten the ceeds of almaranth i
7 Coi I I in 14 armens' -Bulletin L




z
D
-EN By HORNED LARKS.
C.91iaa). Fitz. B.-Anianinth
2. :drp C tx:ec 4. Rliso-
Fig. E.-Napa thite i Iltalfrft
Fig. G.-Bulton wevil i DMolia
magified 17 timesi]







weeetnb S ids rbgu y14
of seg ivmr hn10
.ar h b coarse_ plant,....ited for..ra.....twhic
raefoaecrpiijrosl. Gisindsdeied
form 26.2 pecn ftefo fth ondlrs oeo
N seedsare ery malland gret nuber o the aretake
I id taman ee hn 0 aigbe on nasn
iiii ch Aniiiiiiiii eq alnu beioiteiubiwediiesiavib e
I..... byii one bii i rd .... ofms-id-00i- arm al n hsn
',ffxalsesi otntkn sarle oeetehre
doiiiiiiii no= aea niema fon ido od o ote
8, hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii in som iiii al.............r, recoprse i
list. lack ustar andiildiraishiommonpestsini rinii=
ds'. are eatenwheneverifoun.iTheseiweedsareiespeciall ini -
i1iiiin ai ornia. Some otes whc.irnlioiwl no ni
same....... Sttaeetnfel ytehre ak. T eite ln
owni asrdmis(aadii) hihi eyhr oetrae
prdcsamra fsalbaksedwihaeafvrt odo
th lak f aiona iae (!du)adteciked
VieeadSelra r eypritn ed ncliae rud
an. githi.ed.fr..ospcosprto fte odo h
hrelakBuclvrIfdcg etult)(i.Dvr njui
iii tosee -aiigintrstaniieNaathsle(igE)iriial
(0nar|| otfrmdbewe eti bohfed n atrs
-ar eae.Tecmo unlwramesinteEsbtms
trobleom inmn atIfteWshslre urtosses
whc.r.ftnfudinteso acso.h.lrs.adein or
!evm n o enlar he teso h isto h '0 os
weeds' whcir ae.Teseso lnso h eu oau
whea iiiiipii asiiiii its weigh and siz makeitseparaio f iiiiie@w ea
'diicut. An masiesieimeioio e f iiii io eatiiiiiii wheatiiwith
..............................poisoi have bee kn w of'iiiiiiii m en w hoiiiiiii
iiiiiii iiiiii fl o riiiiiiiiucigr iniTeird iiiiiriiiiii ai iiiii
iie iiiiiiii tios n u u lte f h ed C r o ei s aiiiso
bad crp-hoin wed n netn t sestelrscne




-11it, and the quantity they get s ti
value.
MISCELLANEOUS YE
Among the miscellaneous vegetab]
tance eaten by the larks were bits
flowers, and fragments of other tissu
tained algee, which had been obtaine(
ognizable only as those of plants of t
found. Giraud reports that he foun
of larks.
1n summing tp this part of our s'u
larks are among the most efficient -N
have just seen, not a few of the wee
pests of cultivated land.
ANIMAL I
The animal food of the horned larl
yearly diet, is made Lp entirely of invc
of insects, but is of great variety, as
Beetles, butterflies, grasshoppers, D
thousand-legs, mites, centipedes, si
muse, and oyster shell, earthworm
only are the adult forisof theabove
and lai-vwl of many of them. Thus'tI
in thinning out mnany forms of inver-
I NSE CI
There arie more harmiiful than tbeni
influence of the injurious kinds great]
Many species, however, are valuable
ful agriculture would be well-nigh in
)prpses Of economic ornithology, (
beneficial. these are chiefl
11any njrious insects, and the pre




_, Ireor n o arms. 23
rdtirely useful, and that they so metimes attack cul t iva ted c rops,
n, shown by various authors. These insects together make up
one-fourth pf 1 percent of the food of the horned larks, which
ybe said, therefore, to eat practically no
ots of vahu to man. Predaceous beetles 'of
family, the Carahidas, live on the surface
the g..round, where the horned larks obtain all
it food, and it is strange that so few are eaten.
these insects are usually active only at night,
d remain concealed by day, they are wellI pro-
ted; but some birds eat considerable numbers
them. Of 'the few found in the stomachs of
orned larks only one species, Agonoderuapallip~e, i.3-rdcsbel
nbe identified. This beetle (fig. 3) is known to (Agoioderis, palupes).
feed upon the chinch bug, but about half of its (From Riney, surean of
odis vegetable, partly grass seed. Its eco- noolg.
omic relations,. then, are about evenly balanced, and its wholesale
detruction. would be a loss. Only 15 of the 1,154 birds examined
hd eaten any earabids, and these insects represented but 0. 16 percent
of the total food. Thus the destruction of these insects by the horned
srk is too slight to be noticed. *Tiger beetles, another group of pre-
ceous beetle, are also very scantily represented in the food of
the horned larks. Although the larks often feed on the sandy beaches
And roads where these active insects are most abundant, only two of
tIhem had been secured by the birds examined.
e ab
710. 4.-June bug (Zachaeaterna arcuata) and its larva, a white grub. (From Chittendenl, Bureau of
Entomology.)
Taking up the injurious species, it was found that several horned
ks had eaten click beetles, both in the adult and larval stages. Trhe
rvee are the wireworms which are injurious to grain crops'. The
eter nunmber of thesen were eaten in May. Amongr other heetles
n, tne dung beetles and other scave ngers of t me f am ily dearabw ide
e-of little economic interest, and together with the leat ch3aters of thle
family they comprise a litle over 1 ercent of the food of the year.
I :the leaf chafers, however, which include the June bugs (fig. 4)




species o wi c have been denifid fonistoach o
ffaltiea' qnitawhich i
r"
destuctve o yungpla
h~s ben oud n h
PassiYY~ng to aohrfm
FiG. 5.-Destructive flea-beetle (Phylltret beet~les, hih ote f
vittaa. (Fromr Rile, Buretau of Eno lavs f ottovies
mology)byte one ars
The' most conspicuous element of the insct ood
weevils. Thee dull colored. little beetles are eaten in
in the year, and comprise 4.5 percent of the entirej~
horned larks. In A~ay and June they fommret
of the food, and in August -18 percent. OIne hundi,~
nine birds f"te them to the extent o 28.7 percent of thef:
-T-eevlsasabove stated, r Ib
dull and protectivelyr colored,
and when disturbed f ei un death
and drop to te ground, wrphere i
teir resemblance to bits of i
Itwiogs oi- seeds enables them to
escape detection. 'This device,
howvee seenis to be of little fi 8;
avail when the shrp eves of ~ 1~~
the horned larkls are concernedd' ~ E1
,\,,ost of these: little beetles are 7?
initriou", and sonle are aniono Fic, 6.-117 esried flebectle (Sy
the NNrorst of pest. 'he in- Chittenden"". Bureau otf Eni
ricated-snoit beetle Oio.i. 7), wt\hich injn-es apple aEld chi
strawherrY plalrts, isi of tenl eaten. Eight California ]a
inore than tl5 yucca Nveevils, the birds having an avera E
S4 percent of these insects in their tomachs. OBf the
Or true snouUt beetles, 8lton(,8 inures grass roots and




1N JURIOUS INSEMB EATEN. 25ii:;is ;iir;
clove. Bot of tese betlesare eten b the ornedlark
e potato talk bore (Triclaa2-i8 triotata), he nut wevils, an
n weevil are al taken.Weevilsin the lrk's dit take he plac
of grassoppers, hich arethe preominant lement o tile inect foo
of graivoros birs. "Ihe pecentae of rasshpperseatenby th
larks, 2.5, is somewhat more than half that of the weevils consumed
larks. Grass hoppers ,
were otaine in e
c i7i;
ery month n the yea
except NovemberbL r;
Decembr, an Janu
ary. During the a r
grat in aio s f T..7.Tibicte-not eel (pixrsinbrcau).(Fo
locuss tha haveoc- hitteden, urea ()f ntomoogy.
Pured n te nitd Sats hrne; ark hae eeneffcint n tei
destuctin, ad thy ar reprtedto hve eten oth ggs nd aults
Caterpllars cocons, ad aduts of epidoteraare eten b
hored ark. Te lrv. o th tieidor ea-miingmots (ig.8)
whchar ijuiostovaios utfrit, ndstrd ranan ee
to fursare a fvorite fod. In he winte many o these e picke
fromthei plaes o
:IIIII; ;i ~concealment. Three~~
horned I a rks collecte
~ ~ ~ ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;-;_; ---- :--in M arch i_- n NNi:__----- ---;; -----yom ing ;;;;;-;u ~
had atenmoretha
30 each, making 8
:~ ~"~~~~~tr;-i ~pereent of their food. -;$$j
A Among the caterpil-B ~~i~ '?1111;1111
." ."ars, g eom trids, or
:"" ~~~ ~i~~~measuring wo rnis,~it
gg l:':l~'"?""' :I' :"were identified. Most~~p~t~L~i~
FIG.8.-Tneldmot wit lara ad cooon.(Aftr Rley, of te cterpllar ar
Bureau of Entomology.) eaten in A p ril a ndQ~lg l
May 58 ad .2 erent rspetiel, bin taet inthse onhs
Concerning he value o the horne lark in dstroying ctworms, th
caterpillrs of th owlet noths, Dr.Le Baroi says: (
Thepecliaityof hisbiri * is he istnctwit wlichit isc -er am
this and other crops. It eanie to iny kiiowle~ige through the observation of 111
a TheAmerian Enomoloist ad Botnitst 11, 'o. 1). 18, A ri 1,1870




Wv hen ve consilier how con
.must, destroy an immense nuTI
While writing this article I
both male and female, for t]
Upon examining the contents
resembling hulled oats, and iii
pale-green color, with a browi
enit from the cutwormn, but,
worm, so called, which burrc
curious fact if it should p)rov
destroy two noxious larva, s
mentioned.
Thus does this shy and unol
in the economy of nature, a,
unconsciously renders an impol
.Next if iitpotance to 1
food are bugs. Eggs, y
tives of 12 families of tb
examined. Practicflly it
Seec il.y I So. The tarn
which is verve dvstructiv
a~nd the green re hug-
hugI(s Sometimeis found 4
eatenl ill Mlarch, May, a
have been estimated for,
hundred million dollars.
May contained 34 entire
total of 50 eaten n all i




X18ft~tA11C0U8 AIM L FOOD. 2
benefical. Non of th
in May. Flies and
their larvw are eaten wheneverj~ii
d,::.the greatest number i
June. Dipterous larvfe, which.
FIG.9.-arnshedplat bg (Lguspraensi). Fro
liv in th brne of -ilt an S hitenenBueauof]EnoHoloy.
on the Pacific coast, are amongB; ; "
thoseeaten 20 o thes bein foun in oe stoach. hirtythi-e
larvoe f the cmmon hose fly ere eatn at on meal b another
bird. Trmitesor whie antswere deoured y Caliornia arks i
Octobe, andthe ceaturs know a.,! ant-iom ( kq1itleloni 1) wer
part o the fod in vlay, une, ad July most f thes bein
eatenby Kasas hrned arks
MLSCELLA_-;Eous A NIMAL FOOD
Twenty-two brds had eate animal mattr which may e classed a
gathereda ew small priwinklesbut whether
these were taken f or fod or as an aid in grind
in fodisa uetin.Bis f yser ms
the ltter urpos. Oneor tw snais als
were eaten.'-i ~;~;;ii., "~ y".~1 ~ ~ 8~"iAl~li~R
Sofr sitanmlditi cncred h
hone lrkisexeein!vbeeia. tcn
sumes more orless animal mtter in ever
month of he yearand from',%Ia.)-to Augus
G. 10--Mnh bu (Bluus earl onehalfits ood s ofaninal nture
kumpkrm. (FromWebster chiefl insect. Theseconsist largel of spe
laurmu f ]Entoology.
cies which if unchecked would soon render
rieulure ipossble. eedin as t doe on te grund i the nids
the crops which the inects threaten to destoy, the horned lark I
e ofthe ost ffiientnatual ceck upo ther nuber, an it ,.,
cult o oveestiate te vaue ofthe ervic thu rendrell




birds usually eat much gravel, and since exclusv
birds, such as cuckoos, take almost none, that its fun
ing and grinding of seeds to aid in their digestion.
walled stomach of fledglings which are fed almost e>
animal foods should contain so much gravel is a quest
satisfactory answer has yet been found. The percent
lings is 21.8, for the adults 18.4, and for the birds
14.9. The last group is the most vegetarian of the
enough, takes the least grinding material. The mi
sists principally of coarse and fine sand, sandstone, qu
Many bits of fossils were found, among which w
foraminifera, brachipods, sea urchins, corals, bryozo
NESTLING AND OTHER YOUNG HORNED
As with most of our common birds, nestlings of th,
more insectivorous than older individuals, although
nest they are sometimes fed considerable vegetable n
present investigation the ratio of vegetable to anima
be 16.3 to 83.7.
A thorough study of the diet of the nestling larks
amount of material than is available. Ten stomaibs
ined, which were taken in three States, from April t
Those obtained early in the season, and from northern
the largest amounts of vegetable matter. Of these, I
8, and 40 percent, respectively, and two 50 percent,
stances. A nestling taken in April in New York hac
cent of wheat. This consisted of whole grains, whi
be rather unsuitable food for a fledgling. The other
found in the stomachs of nestling larks was mainly we
them were green foxtail (Ckttockloa viridi), tumb
th~s), and yellow sorrel ( fralis stricta).
In the animal matter were wireworms (Elaterids), C
mainly white grubs (Scardwidw), adult beetles, such V
beetles (CIriomelidw), pill beetles (Byrrhidwe), an
chopjhra). The latter were found in all but three of
formed 16.3 percent of the total food of the nestling
omelids, one stomach contained fragments of at les




Foon or YouNG nORNED LARKS. 29
greater striped flea-beetle (Disonycka carolinian a) (fig. 11), a
g-feed species. The most important element of the animal
',howe@* was grasshoppers (Aeridiida). These comprised 411.5
reent of all the food, and no less than 99 percent
mthe contents of one of the stomachs. Grasshoppers
area favorite diet for the nestlings of many birds,
d sometimes are fed to them almost to the total
elusion of other foods. Prof. Samuel Aughey, in
Nebraska, duringthe month of May found the horned
Isks feeding almost wholly upon young grasshoppers, FG 1-raesrp
great numbers of which they were carrying to their ed fea-beede (Mao-
nestlings. The stomach of one lark was found to nyvena carouintena),.
contain 42 loensts and 33 small seeds.,, (Three times nat-
tirai size.)
Other animal matter fed to the nestlings examined
by the writer consisted of chrysalide of leaf -mining mioths (Timeidm).,
leaf bugs (Capsidm), spiders, ant-lions (Myrmeleonids), thirteen of
which formed 60 percent of the contents of one stomach, and centi-
pedes (Chilopoda).
In the nestling state, therefore, horned larks are almost entirely
beneficial, and the number of insect pests they consume is very great.
Adults have been seen to carrv food to the nest twenty times in an
hour, and they continue
"" their visits throughout the
day for a week or more;
and it is to be remembered
that this species raises two
nor three broods in a year.
UD Each family thus destroys
a host of insects, and the
quantity consumed by the
..an' irds throughout North
America is almost beyond
computation. As our exam-
instions show that weevils
and .grasshoppers compose
the great bulk of the insect
...emfood of the nestlingrs, their
A B C D economic value can hardly
FIG. 12.-Colem ns sowing the proportions of insects, grain, be overestimated.
and weedaseed eaten by the following: A, California larks; Concrn ing the fully
B, larks in first plumage: C, total number examined ex- fegdyug rfso
clusive of California birds; D, nestlings. Baedged noungd Prof esort
less animal matter than the adults, a conclusion confirmed by exami-
nation of the more abundant material now available (,see fig. 12).
&First Ann. Report U. S. Entom, Comm., App. II, p. 18, 18 78,




percent less than the old birds. In 0
was collected, and it had eaten 5 percent
more than 9 percent less than the avera
during that month.
In May, June, and July the birds of
sume less 'animal food than the adult,,
amount for the species, and perhaps tl
the adults. In August, September, (
have seen, they either care little for ani
are unable to procure it from want ol
seems all the more probable, since it is
the adults consume the maximum amou:
If comparison of the animal food of
nestlings) is confined to the months in v
the young fall more than 15 percent belo
and, be the reason what it may, the fac
January and from May to October, in
consume less than half as much animal
FOOD OF THE HORNED LARKS OF CA
THAT OF THE OTH:
The food habits of the California subs
were found to differ so remarkably fr.
larks as to merit separate notice. Bric
sists in the high percentage of vegetable
food consumed by the California birds.
be seen from the accompanying chart
animal matter consumed fluctuates irra
obeying no obvious law. No stomachs 1
number for some other months is too ar
but the agregate for the year, 267, is
idea of the food of the subspecies.
No nestlings of the California lark we
of these is said to be hatched in.April c
animal matter consumed by the Califo




;6LFON HONE LAK.
bl belreyicesdi etlnsbdbe nlddi
nain.I apastattehget-ecnae1fa a
Istkni ue hs oee,-sol 77pret o
pir inhl h ihs othyaeaefrteohrmm
i. A iiiiiiiiiiiThsismalipercetageiap earsiteimoreremark
,, 1 iti ttdta h irscletdi uei n lfri
Irmpae hr nec ieaons oe aefrmtesl
es 'weefylra r ueos adohr o ece hr
c.r. om..ds....p entf... In.os..oca.ti....o eve,.in ect
ou: in ii an numbersiii
...............i............. .AV ja mf a~e A ,& I cr OV Pr -
re r not surrisng..a
iiiiiiii f o o di c o m p o s e s 2 0ii ii==ii=iiii ii,,,iiiiiuiiiii ,i= ii~~iiiiiiii~iiiiiiiiilii
pecn oftedito
alf i hone larks
nue. lak nter-6 /
ndro h Mutytk
sstan8 eret-o h 406
cls of foo.iOith
rvtal mter ee ee,202
c s5. eret sls
ti ntea o n f i a e__I0
nd offo ae yte FG 1.Da msoigteprprin faia n
'o he.ore.lrk Th.rs..gealefodo.te.alfr.ahone.ar.frevr
jut f y hem
Ofte9 ondlrseaie wihhdetnwet 3cm
from~~~~ ~ ~ Caiona Tw hude an n a ae otad10o
ths eefo Clfri.O heganetnb tehre ak
f Caifrna,311..ren.cnsst.o..tsan.. 1 pecn of....t
rn haigbe ae ybtoebr.Otteaetefvrt
boado hsacuttehredlrsaelal odmg h
op oeeaget ato h ascnsmdpoal oe
om- the widpat oaudn nal at fteSae n
stutono hsei bnft
Th aionahre ak osm ny85 ecn faia




generally abundant, grain is taken only incidentally and
is done.
SUMMARY.
Examination of 1,154 stomachs collected in all parts
States and southern Canada shows that the food of the
consists of insects, 20.6 percent, and vegetable matter
sevenths of which are weed seed, 79.4 percent.
The nestlings are highly insectivorous, but soon after
nest they become much more vegetarian than even the a(
The horned larks of California differ markedly in foo
those of other parts of the country, being almost entirely
and although the number examined constitutes little moi
of the total, yet they consume half of all the grain eaten
group. Below are contrasted the amounts of grain eaten
larks of California and of other States:
Grain. Califor
O ..........................P..................................... ......
W heat ......................... .... ......................................
W heat ...................................................T
BCrn a. ................................................................ T
Buckwheat ................ ...................................................N
From the above facts and figures it might appear that I
horned larks are decidedly injurious, but the quantity of
indicated by the ratios does not fairly represent the bi
status, since a large proportion of this grain is wild an<
value to the farmer.
Of the grain eaten in the other States, buckwheat i:
amount, while practically all of the corn and oats ea
Although the Great Plains region, the most important w
area of the country and also the center of abundance o
larks, is represented by a proportionate number of
examined, yet the percentage of wheat eaten is only 1. 66.




VALUE OF HORNED LARK. 33
of this' region, considered separately, are even more insectivorous
those from east of the Mississippi, one-fourth of their food being
imal matter. -
The charges made by farmers that the horned larks eat newly sown
. n are confirmed, but in attempting to estimate the economic value
f the birds it must be borne in mind that the insects they eat com-
usate many fold for the seed grain taken, even considered bulk for
ulk. As a matter of fact, however, the insects eaten constitute
almost twice as great a proportion of the food as the grain, including
even that which is waste. As may be seen from the foregoing table,
the grain-eating proclivities of the bird in most parts of the country
result in very little damage to the farmer. Furthermore,, even this
small amount of injury is preventable by the use of a deep-planting
drill in seeding.
. It is impossible to estimate in dollars and cents the benefits result-
ing from the work of the horned lark, but it is none the less real on
that account. Moreover, the services of the bird cost the farmer
practically nothing save a small toll levied here and there upon seed
grain. So small in amount is the grain thus taken and over such
restricted areas that, aside from the fact that at small expense all
damage can be prevented, the loss bears no comparison to the benefits
conferred. The horned lark by its services to agriculture earns a
right to live, and deserves protection at the hands of man.




LIST OF SEEDS, FRUITS, AND) INV
HORNED L
GRAIN.
Corn (7ca innys). P
Kafir corn (.Andropogon sorghtam). P
Oat's (Arclia saliva). R
Wheat (Triticuin sativumn).
Buckwheat (Fagopyruonfagopyrum).
FORAGE PLANTS. C
W
Paspalum (Paspaltun spp.). cl
Hungarian grass (Chia~tochloa itulica). 1
Timothy (Phleumn pratense). M1
Red-top (.Agrostis alba). i
Orchard grass (Dacti lis glonicrata).
Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). B]
Rape (Brassiva napus). Ti
Alfalfa (Mcdicago) sativa). %V
Red clover (Trifoliumn praten.,e(). Ci
White clover ( Thifoiimr rcpens8). w
WEEDS AND) WILD FRUITS. S
Li
E~el grass (Zuc~sru inarina). T
Large crab grass (,'y!Inlwarisna sa i fitin alis). M
Small crab grass (Synftcrisma linearis) C
Barny .ard grass (-Echinoclhloa crus-gaili). A
Witch grass (Pan icum (wpillarc). j
Yellow foxtail (Clurtochloa fglatica). M
Green foxtail (COaxtocloa virid is).
Rough rush grassi (Sporobolhis aqNper). S
Sheatthed rush grass (Sporoboln., raginrfleiriaz). Ski
Wild oats (Arcinaffatha).
Wire grass (.Elctsilic in~dia)..
Stink grass ( Era rosii. majorr. N I
Club rush (Sipssp.). C(
Sedge (Carex sp.). Y(
Rush (Juncuis sp.). Ui
Field sorrel ( leumcx accioscila). S
Western dock (Rutnwx orceidais). C
Curled dock (Rtuwt crispio,). G I
IDen se- fit)\%wcred pcrsicaria ( Polygon urn portori- 11,
Pale persicariaL (Pedqgou ur lapathifoltism).
Peu111sylvanilL persicaria i, Iolyqgonior pen nsyl va- B]
nictim).
Lady's 0t1humb Polyqgon 1u1 pcrlivaria) B]
inart wed ( PolYgontimhdroipr.N
Knotgrass (Pol i~flos a viiaac)
Black bindwecd (/,) !oIgo1111 convalvlue11). l)
Climibing false buckwhi-at (Polyom /!(f1111NWidew). s I
Lamb'4-tinarters (Chenuopodhiin (Albm). I
Satwo*(rt (Salsola Akali). R1i
Roughi pigwccd (Arna1rantlux retro flexus). F]
41vndcr joigweed (Ainaranthuq hyi./d' 11,R




8XTM,~~~~ ~ ~~ FRIS ADNDRTBA"EAE.3
Ax wi=t rare-oniud GRASSOPPER (RHPTlA)tbu L.
(Heizofaasceuka) ANDn~u sp.). ~ z~i~mi
grounsel (mcci vgroup:)
Commn br thstl (Caduu laceoltw) BUTERFIESANfDA) MO LEPDNG EQSA INCU
(Pvw P.)- UG (HEMlIPTERA) INCLUDING EGG ALND UZ
CherryB1T (P n sp.). YMPHS
EMLES COLEOPERA) hread-egged b (EVRcsrdx A
Gromdb~tls ndthirlavue((laabdw Aon Asasi bugs (Relowiidw
Water ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ e scavtnge beele (Hurohildw Ifrtnss
Rove~~~~~~~~~~~~~o betecrabyiiw locaantd; hnhbg (gid: hch ug[liu la




Ilk




1 IN EX.
BAlt horned Isrks, 10. Fruit, wild, eaten, 34.
atinal food, 22-27,85. General food habits, 8-12.
inacts, 22-27, 85. General habits, 7-8.
adseellanebua, 27. Grain as food, 18-19.
Breeding habits, '7-8. Habits, breeding, 7-8.
Galifornia horned larks, 30-82. food, 7--5.
food of, 8". general, 7-8.
Corn as food, 16-17. Injurious insects eaten, 28-27.
Damage to wheat, 18 -16. Insect food, 22-27, 85.
Distribution, 7-$. Invertebrates eaten, 22-27,385.
Food, animal, 22-27, 85. Marketing of horned larks, 11.
corn, 16-17. Mineral matter, 28.
forage plants, 18-19, S4. Miscellaneous animal food, 27.
fruit, 22, 34-85, Miscellaneous vegetable food, 22.
n, 18-19. Nestling and other young horned larks, 28-30.
Insects, 22-27,385. Oats as food, 17-18.
mineral matter, 2S. Otoeoris alpestris actia, 9, 80-32.
meellaneous animal, 27. Otocoris alpestria flava, 11.
miscellaneous vegetable, 22. Seeds eaten, 19-22, 28, 34-853.
oats, 17-18. Skylark, 11.
vegetable, 1-22, 8Summary, 32-88.
weeds, 19-22,84-85. Useful insects eaten, 23.
wheat, 18-16. Vegetable food, 12-22, 34-85.
wild fruits, 34. Weed seeds as food, 19-22, 28, 34-35.
Forage plants as food, 18-19,84. Wheat as food, 18-16.
Fruit, cultivated, eaten, 22, 85. Young horned larks, 28-80.
37
|i I -O










UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3.1262 084916641