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Lark Bunting - BirdForum Opus

Adult Breeding Male. Photo by Steve Messick
Calamospiza melanocorys


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


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


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.


This is a monotypic species1.


Dry plains and prairies.



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.


Seeds and insects


  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

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