Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
SACC. 2005 and updates. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2019 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land-mass type Average mass 31 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 64,100,000 km2 medium
Extent of Occurrence (non-breeding) 45,400,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 140000000 mature individuals poor estimated 2016
Population trend decreasing - suspected -
Generation length 4.5 years - - -

Population justification: Partners in Flight estimate the global population to number 140,000,000 mature individuals (A. Panjabi in litt. 2017). The European population is estimated at 2,140,000-6,510,000 pairs, which equates to 4,280,000-13,000,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). National population sizes have been estimated at 100-10,000 breeding pairs, 50-1,000 individuals on migration and 50-1,000 wintering individuals in China as well as <1,000 individuals on migration and <1,000 wintering individuals in Japan (Brazil 2009).

Trend justification:

The population in Europe is estimated to be stable (BirdLife International 2015). In North America, this species has undergone a large, significant decline over the last 50 years (70% decline between 1966 and 2015 based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey [Sauer et al. 2017], or 65% decline between 1970 and 2014 based on Partners in Flight [A. Panjabi in litt. 2017]). Recent trends suggest a significant decline of 22.9% over the last three generations in North America (Sauer et al. 2017). Therefore the global population is assessed as being in decline.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Afghanistan extant native yes
Albania extant native yes
Armenia extant native yes
Austria extant native yes
Azerbaijan extant native yes
Belarus extant native yes
Belgium extant native yes
Bermuda (to UK) extant vagrant
Bhutan extant native yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina extant native yes
Bulgaria extant native yes
Canada extant native yes yes
China (mainland) extant native yes
Colombia extant native
Croatia extant native yes
Czechia extant native yes
Denmark extant native yes
Estonia extant native yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) extant vagrant
Finland extant native yes yes
France extant native yes
Georgia extant native yes
Germany extant native yes
Greece extant native yes
Greenland (to Denmark) extant vagrant
Hungary extant native yes
Iceland extant vagrant
India extant native yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of extant native yes
Iraq extant native yes
Ireland extant vagrant
Israel extant native yes
Italy extant vagrant
Japan extant vagrant
Jordan extant native
Kazakhstan extant native yes
Kyrgyzstan extant native yes
Latvia extant vagrant
Lebanon extant native yes
Lithuania extant native yes
Luxembourg extant vagrant
Malta extant vagrant
Mexico extant native
Mongolia extant native yes
Montenegro extant native yes
Morocco extant native
Nepal extant native yes
Netherlands extant native yes
North Macedonia extant native yes
Norway extant native yes
Pakistan extant native yes
Poland extant native yes yes
Romania extant native yes
Russia extant native yes yes
Russia (Asian) extant native yes
Russia (Central Asian) extant native yes
Russia (European) extant native yes
Serbia extant native yes
Slovakia extant native yes
Slovenia extant vagrant
Spain extant vagrant yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) extant native yes yes
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) extant vagrant
Sweden extant native yes
Switzerland extant vagrant
Syria extant native yes
Tajikistan extant native yes
Türkiye extant native yes
Turkmenistan extant native yes
Ukraine extant native yes yes
United Kingdom extant native yes
USA extant native yes
Uzbekistan extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subarctic major breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Sand Dunes suitable breeding
Marine Intertidal Sandy Shoreline and/or Beaches, Sand Bars, Spits, Etc suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Boreal major breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Altitude 0 - 5400 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Nomadic grazing Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Cenchrus clandestinus Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - non-trivial recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Eremophila alpestris. Downloaded from on 21/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/02/2024.