Otocoris Bonaparte, Nuovi Ann. Sci. Nat. Bologna, ii, p. 407 (1838). Type, Otocoris alpestris Linn.
The Horned Larks are distinguished from all other genera of the Alaudidae by possessing horns composed of a few lengthened feathers on either side of the crown in both sexes. The bill is of medium length, rather stout and the nostrils are densely covered by plumes; the wing has only nine primaries of which the first three are subequal, the second generally being a fraction the longest; the tarsus is strong but not very long and the hind claw is nearly straight, pointed and about as long as the hind toe or a little longer; the sexes differ in colour.
Although there is only one full moult, abrasion of the feathers makes a considerable difference between the Summer and Winter plumage.
Key to Species.
A. Black of the sides of the head connected with the black of the breast …………….O. penicillata, p. 307.
B. Black of the sides of the head divided from that of the breast by a white baud…………….O. alpestris, p. 308