Birds of Nebraska: Newspaper Accounts, 1854-1923

Editor [possibly Miles Greenleaf]. January 30, 1921. Spring Is Coming [Horned Lark]. Omaha Sunday World-Herald 56(16=18): 6-E. A bird editorial.

Spring Is Coming.

To very many folks of this section, the winter is jazzing along so fast that it will be gone before we are properly prepared to welcome the good old springtime, with its light-green foliage and earthy odors and the general hustle and bustle of budding life.

Perhaps the speed shown by the present winter is due in part to its abnormal temperature and the fact that enthusiasts in both games are playing golf and curling at Miller park, all at the same time - taking this merely as an example.There has been scarcely a Sabbath day that the crack of the cleek against the guttie has not rung its snappy note over the course, while the skaters, and curlers and ski-experts have had their fair swat at the fun.

But the signs of an early spring, we would judge, are unmistakable. The advent of the Prairie Horned Lark, in full song, one week ago today, would indicate that something is doing in the spring business.

The horned lark is a very hardy bird, and might be found here at any time during the winter, no matter how severe the weather, but when the male bird begins to sing and pull his aeronautical stunts of hanging in air for a long time and then dropping like a plummet to earth, it is pretty certain that the pussy-willows are to fuss themselves up in grand style within a very few weeks.

As we have remarked in the past, the horned lark is the only American bird that follows the fashion of the British Skylark in hanging in the air and singing. The American's song is not lovely; it is a squeaky affair, but interesting. The habits of the bird are much more interesting than its song.

Often described as a "Snowbird," which it isn't, the horned lark commences its affairs of the heart even as early as this date, and nests while the snow is yet upon the ground - the "little home" being a few pieces of straw of grass laid crosswise in a sheltered crevice in some tiny gully in an open field. The aviation exhibition sprung by these birds, as was the case last Sunday, is a sure sign that they are mating, and that the stork will visit the family very soon - perhaps in March.

It will do you a lot of good to go out into the open fields today and listen for the squeaky love-song of the horned lark, one of our most interesting birds.

Jack Frost, Costumer.

Jack Frost was costumer for Mother nature's winter children one night last week and my, how he must have worked! In the morning every branch, all the weeds, leafless heretofore, had the most beautiful crystal dress. On the tops of the cuts where the street cars ran were lines of fringy weed stalks, with pendent branches that nodded to the passengers as the cars went by, and tinkled a melody as they clashed together. They looked beautifully crystal-white against the gray sky, and above the steep clay bank where they stood. The tree branches rattled a gay greeting from the bank down which they formed a barricade. The pendent nest of a Baltimore oriole was surrounded by a crystal setting and a bunch of leaves that had valiantly clung to their bough were showing their russet brown through a glassy covering.

Then the sun came out and everything glittered and shone with the myriad colors of the rainbow. Presently the drops began to fall, catching the sparkle of the sunlight as they dropped, and soon Jack Frost's midnight work was gone and the forest children were dressed in crystal no longer. Wonder if he felt badly because his work was so soon gone? And did the branches and trees and weeds mourn for their dress of a few hours?