Steppe Pseudo-lark (Anthus nigridens)Order: PasseriformesFamily: MotacillidaeHabitat: Steppes and Prairie of North AmericaThe prairie and other open spaces in the Neocene North America are either snowy plains in winter, or quite dense thickets (and sometimes even entire groves) in the warmer months. With the disappearance of people and civilization, nature, including herbaceous plants, recovered and regained its old places. Trees in such places are a minority, most of the flora in these places are shrubs, but more often, there are herbaceous plants as well. In the Old World, such ecosystems are plentiful, but there, in the Neocene, appeared various megafauna as well - artiodactyls, descendants of the hyraxes, lagomorphs, rodents of the Holocene, which eat this flora. In North America, there are fewer such animals (especially at the level of species), and here formed a different, its own, ecosystem with its own species. Among them is the steppe pseudo-larkExternally, this distant relative of the wagtail, etc. resembles a sparrow, but it is more slender, with a longer and thinner beak, because it eats mainly insects, (rarely - berries and seeds too). The male is dark gray, almost black, only the tail feathers have white ends to give signals in flight. The female is colored similarly, but is much paler, and somehow resembles the same wagtail, but unlike them, it does not wag or shake its’ tail, (and neither does the male). This bird’s general behavior is also secretive, as the females and males prefer to sit in shrubs or grass thickets, but the steppe pseudo-lark’s song song is loud, and so, this bird is much easier to hear than to see.In winter, the North American expanses are not easy to live in, so this bird often migrates south to Central America. This species is monogamous, but in winter, couples, (and families), fall apart, and in the spring, the males return, and begin to call the females anew; this species, however, is not territorial, and couples nest not very far from each other.The nest is made of twigs and plant fibers and cobwebs, above the ground in the bushes or on a low tree. Eggs in a clutch number 3-4, they are whitish, but covered with darker spots. Both parents incubate, for about 2 weeks. The chicks are born blind, but after 2 weeks, they are already able to leave the nest, and by the end of the summer, they can already migrate with their parents.The main enemies of the steppe pseudo-lark are different birds of prey. Life expectancy is no more than 8 years, but most die much earlier, especially during migrations and winters.