Larks (family Alaudidae) are small (15-25 cm) songbirds found in open habitats of prairies and grasslands, where they feed on small insects and seeds. They walk and run on short legs with long hind claws. Most of the approximately ninety species are found in Eurasia and Africa.
The horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), the only species found in the New World, breeds from Alaska to Mexico, with an isolated Columbian population. In Saskatchewan, the prairie population breeds throughout the grasslands; the arctic population breeds around Lake Athabasca. It is one of the earliest migrants, arriving before the snow melts. The horned lark is one of the more brightly coloured larks, with its black chest band, black and yellow facial pattern, and small black feathered “horns”; but in the Saskatchewan populations, the bird is paler in colour.