Call for reporting color banded Streaked Horned Larks on their wintering grounds

lark with bandThe current range of the federally-threatened Streaked Horned Lark includes the Willamette Valley, Columbia River Islands, Washington Coast, and South Puget Sound prairies.  A large proportion of the South Puget Sound lark population has been monitored since 2006. The 2014 breeding season was extremely favorable for larks, and over 100 South Sound lark nestlings received unique color bands. In the next few weeks, many of these 3- to 5-month old birds will leave their breeding grounds, and head south for the winter.

This is a request for information leading to “resights” of any banded birds. Typically, the band combinations can only be read accurately with a spotting scope.  However, we are interested in the locations of any banded lark, even if you are unable to read ANY of the bands or which legs they are on. The particular arrangement of color bands on the tarsus, and placement of the color bands on each leg is crucial to identifying individuals, which will assist us to determine where these animals might be overwintering. All color-banded larks received a color band on top of the silver USFWS band on the right leg (either green, orange, white or purple) – this color identifies the birds natal site (where it hatched). The left leg may contain one or two color bands (see photo of banded bird). The colors used in 2014 are shown in the figure below. If you happen to detect a banded lark, please record the following information:

1. Color combination on each respective leg
2. Date and location where you detected the bird (coordinates would be great)
3. A photograph, if possible

Please direct resight data to Adrian Wolf, with the Center for Natural Lands Management (Email

A PDF version of this announcement can be found here if you’re interested in sharing or posting it.

2014 SHLA banding color guide