Squat-looking bird with short legs and low-profile body. Adults are mostly sandy-brown with white belly, sometimes with blurry streaks on sides of breast. Look for bold head pattern, especially black mask and chest band. Throat color varies from yellow to white. Namesake horns on head are sometimes visible at close range. Juveniles can be confusing; they are messy-looking, grayish-brown with bold white spots and scallops on the upperparts. Note bill shape to help separate from sparrows or longspurs. Widespread in open habitats throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Typically seen in flocks, sometimes mixed in with other open-ground songbirds, running along the ground in open areas with little to no vegetation. Listen for lovely jumbled song, as well as variable high-pitched calls when flying over.
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