Monday, March 1

Larks and Pipits

Horned Larks have a variety of calls which include chi-dit, seerp/tseep, and buzzy calls. They are used on the ground and as flight calls.
The following recordings were made of wintering birds in Lancaster County, PA in February.

Chi-dit calls are highly variable, each call usually being different from those preceding or following, indicating a large repertoire.

Another example of chi-dit calls. Some of the lower calls of American Pipits can sound similar.

Interestingly chi-dit calls appear to be a component of the Horned Lark song.

The next category of calls are the seerp/tseeps, which vary in length, can be modulated, may be multi-syllabic, and are mostly descending.

see-der (first two calls).


Two tseeps followed by seerps.


modulated seerp


Call by a bird taking flight.

Buzzy call (first call, followed by chi-dit and seerp).

Calls in flight by a disturbed flock of about 30 birds. Mostly chi-dit and buzzy calls.

Two birds displaying face to face, and then fighting in mid-air at 47-60 sec.

Edited sonagrams of the chi-dit calls in this recording, showing the variety and frequent repetition of the notes, indicating a large but finite repertoire (time scale reduced).

Horned Larks in flight (Dec, PA).

reduced time scale

(Mar, NJ).

American Pipit in flight. There are two basic call types, a higher, often doubled call, and a lower call (with Purple Finch, Nov, PA).

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