Larks are characteristic birds of the open landscapes like grasslands, steppes, stony plains, and heaths. Most larks prefer areas with sparse vegetation. Some species, including the wood lark and flapped lark (Mirafra rufocinnamomea), depend on a mixture of vegetation types within the same habitat, such as grasses for nest-building and scattered bushes and small

An ashy-crowned finch-lark (Eremopterix grisea) feeds its young in the nest. (Photo by V. Sinha/VIREO. Reproduced by permission.)

trees for perching. Human activities provide further suitable habitats for certain species. In North America, skylarks and horned larks regularly breed on cultivated areas such as fields and uncultivated areas such as wastelands.

Larks inhabit extreme regions such as deserts, semideserts, and arctic tundras, and areas varying in altitude from about sea level to high mountains. The horned lark, for example, breeds at 14,750 ft (4,500 m) in the Rocky Mountains, and the skylark and Tibetan lark (Melanocorypha maxima) breed at 14,450 ft (4,400 m) and 15,100 ft (4,600 m) in the Himalayas, respectively. Generally, such extreme habitats are left after the breeding season.

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