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Lark Bunting - BirdForum Opus

Adult Breeding Male. Photo by Steve Messick
Calamospiza melanocorys

Identification

L. 6-7 1/2" (15-19 cm). Bill is very large and strong

Breeding Male

  • Black
  • White wing patch
Winter plumage, likely male due to blackish chin.
Photo by atricapillus
Cimarron County, Oklahoma, USA, December 2010

Female, Immature, and Non-breeding Male

  • Streaked sandy buff above
  • White below
  • White eye line
  • Faint "moustache" stripe -- overall indistinct face
  • White wing patch (not always visible)
  • Rounded, white-tipped tail feathers
  • Some feather groups darker brown when fresh (fall-winter)
  • If chin is blackish, then usually male

Juvenile

In first few month of life more buffish overall with scaled appearance due to whitish fringes on upperside.

Distribution

Female-like plumage summer
Photo by Josef
most likely South Dakota, USA, July 2011

Grassland in the great plains of Canada and central United States, in parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Migratory, winters in the southernmost parts of central USA and mostly in Mexico where it reaches south to about Mexico City. Winter range is expanding northwards.

Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species1.

Habitat

Dry plains and prairies.

Behaviour

Breeding

4 or 5 light blue eggs are laid in a loose grass nest placed in a scrape with rim flush with the ground; often protected by weedy patch.

Diet

Seeds and insects

References

  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Pyle, Peter 1997. Identification Guide to North American Birds, Part 1. Slate Creek Press, Bolinas, California. ISBN 0-9618940-2-4
  3. Birds of North America online

Recommended Citation

External Links

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