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Berne Lark

Introduction to Berne Lark

The Berne Lark is a rare species of small passerine bird found in Europe and North Africa. It is native to low and high altitudes, preferring open, barren habitats such as steppe, pastureland, abandonned cultivation, desert, and dry grassland. It is a twilight bird, often seen around dawn and late in the evening, and is a good strategy to identify them.

The Berne Lark breeds in Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia. Its native range covers Europe from Spain, north Africa, and parts of Asia. Its wintering range is in the regions from Morocco and Israel to the southwest and now to Turkestan. These birds have been known to have a loud, sharp “pip” call that can be heard for miles.

They are usually found in the open, in low and high altitudes, such as steppe, pastureland, abandoned cultivation, desert, and dry grassland. The birds flock together with other species, particularly Skylarks, Calandra Larks, Horned Larks, and short-toed Larks. Berne larks do not form large flocks, but prefer smaller flocks of up to 10 birds.

Physical Characteristics

The Berne lark has iridescent bronze crown, a reddish body, and white-fringed wings and tail. The long legs are chestnut in color, and their eyes are dark. Its wings have white inner primaries, and its tail is mostly white. The bill is black, and the legs and feet are pink in color.

It averages at 13 cm in length, and the males weigh 27g, while the females weigh 25g. This species is smaller than a crow, but slightly larger than a starling. These birds tend to be rather flighty and secretive, so they are not as easy to observe close-up as other species.

Behavior of the Berne Lark

The Berne lark is quite a social species, often seen in flocks of up to 10. In the breeding season, they are more often seen in pairs. The birds are mostly silent during the breeding season, but the males may sing during the day while they are perched on a rock or a low bush.

The Berne lark likes to feed in short grass, plucking insects, seeds, and green plants from the ground or from low vegetation. They can be observed walking around on the ground in search for food. They will frequently take off into the air to catch prey, as well as perching on telephone wires or other tall bird perches. Berne larks tend to be quite shy and secretive birds, so they are hard to get close enough to observe their behavior.

Berne Lark two

Breeding Habits of the Berne Lark

The Berne lark usually breeds between April and August in the northern hemisphere, and between December and April in the south. The pair builds their cup-shaped nest on the ground, typically using materials such as grass, twigs, and leaves. Both parents incubate the eggs, which typically hatch after around two weeks. The chicks are helpless and are completely dependent on the parents for food and warmth during the first few weeks.

Once they fledge, the juvenile birds will stay around the parents for two months or so before dispersing. The parents may raise two or three broods during the breeding season.

Threats to the Berne Lark

Unfortunately, the Berne lark population is decreasing due to various anthropogenic changes to its environment. These include agricultural intensification, bark stripping of trees, pesticides, overgrazing, and urbanization. To help protect the Berne lark, areas of suitable habitat should be preserved and managed to support the species.

In addition, it is important to limit agricultural activities in areas of key importance to the larks, such as collecting and sowing fields. By protecting the Berne lark and its habitat, we can help ensure its survival and protect an important part of our natural heritage.

Conclusion

The Berne lark is a rare species of passerine bird with a distinct plumage. Its native range covers Europe from Spain, north Africa, and parts of Asia. Its wintering range is in the regions from Morocco and Israel to the southwest and now to Turkestan. Berne larks are usually seen in small flocks and prefer to feed on insects, seeds, and green plants from the ground or from low vegetation.

The biggest threats to the Berne lark population is anthropogenic changes to its environment and habitat destruction. To protect this species of bird, it is important to preserve and manage areas of key habitat, limit agricultural activities in those areas, and reduce the use of pesticides and other chemicals. By taking the necessary conservation steps, we can help ensure the survival of the Berne Lark and protect a part of our natural heritage.

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