Creature Feature: Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)
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Creature Feature: Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris)

“Look. There goes another!”

“No way. How did you see that?”

“Look for the movement.”

“I certainly can’t see them when they land.”

These were snatches of a conversation I was part of as we traveled through the farmlands of Wisconsin in early Spring, running between ponds looking for waterfowl. The subject? That field will-o’-the-wisp, the Horned Lark. We’d see their ghostly forms flitting out into the fields everywhere, but it was a challenge to keep track of them, especially once they landed. This is one of the quintessential open country birds of the Midwest, a bird that livens up even the dullest open farm fields.

Creature Feature: Tree Swallow
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Creature Feature: Tree Swallow

The Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor ) is one of our earliest, hardiest insect-eating migrants. Their scientific name means ‘swift-moving two-colored’ in reference to their quick acrobatic flight and their dark iridescent backs contrasting with their white bellies. These beautiful blue-green swallows winter in areas around the Gulf of Mexico and start heading north in late…