Streaked Horned Lark Surveys McChord Field, 2011

Streaked horned larks at McChord Field have been the subject of both intensive and cursory monitoring since 2002 (Pearson et al. 2005, Pearson and Hopey 2008, Anderson 2007). The larks use areas of the McChord Airfield directly adjacent to the active runway and taxiways, and nest sites are often located within a few meters of a paved surface (Anderson 2005). In 2010 and 2011, partners have come together to ensure that all sites in Washington state, including McChord Field, were surveyed with a standardized protocol.

Recorded streaked horned lark nest abandonment at all sites studied in the south Puget Sound is fairly high. Twenty-five percent of nests located during the 2002-2005 breeding seasons in the Puget Lowlands were abandoned (Pearson et. al. 2005). Anderson (2010) reports 27% abandonment as opposed to 0% abandonment by other grassland birds. Combined with low egg hatchability (Camfield et al 2010), abandonment may be an important factor contributing to low fecundity in streaked horned larks.

The objectives of the work conducted by The Nature Conservancy at McChord Field during the 2011 breeding season were to: 1. Conduct 3-4 breeding adult lark surveys at McChord Field, using protocol established by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2. Map locations and record behavior and life stage of all streaked horned larks observed during the surveys. 3. Record presence