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Lark Sparrow - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by digishooter.
Kern County, California, USA, January, 2009
Chondestes grammacus


Photo © by digishooter.
Kern County, California, USA, November, 2007

14.1–18.3 cm (5½-7 in)
A long-tailed sparrow


  • Dark-streaked brown back
  • White underparts with dark central spot
  • Chestnut cheeks and crown sides
  • White eyebrow and crown stripes
  • White corners on dark tail
  • Yellowish or pink-grey bill
  • Dull legs
  • Sepia or brown iris


  • Duller
  • Streaked underparts


Subspecies: C. g. grammacus
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Lions Park, Temple, Bell County, Texas, USA, May 2022

Southern Canada, the USA, and northern Mexico.


Open habitats including grazed grasslands, bare and cultivated ground, plains and areas with scattered trees.



Two subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • C. g. grammacus breeds in the eastern portion of the species’ range west to Wisconsin and Minnesota, south through eastern Nebraska and eastern Kansas to northeast Texas. Chestnut head markings and plumage are darker than
  • C. g. strigatus, which breeds west of grammacus, in south-western Canada and western US to northern Mexico; winters to southern Mexico.



The nest is a grass cup, protected by vegetation such as a clump of grass. The clutch consists of 3-6 eggs which are white with black scribbles.


Their diet consists mostly of seeds, supplemented with insects, such as beetles and grasshoppers.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2015)
  3. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

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