Lark Bunting 

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Calamospiza Melanocorys 

lark bunting 


Males have black plumage contrasting with conspicuous white wing patch, formed by white greater and median wing coverts. The black tail is relatively short, a little rounded, with white tips. 

Some of the belly and lower-tail coverts are tipped with white. Head is black and rather large. The neck is short. 

There are some glossy dark green feathers on the nape. The conical, pointed, robust bill is blue-gray. Eyes are black. Legs and feet are brown.

Females have grayish-brown upperparts, streaked with dark. There are white wing patches as the males, but are smaller and tinged with buffy. 

The underparts are white streaked with dark on chest and sides. The belly is nearly pure white, and sides are tinged with reddish-brown. They are smaller than males. 


Males resemble females but have a black chin, and black color is extending to belly where there are whitish feather edgings.

Females are duller grayish-brown with paler streaks, and more strongly tinged with buff.

BILL: blue-gray, large and cone-shaped.

SIZE: measures about 5.5 - 7.1 inches in length, with a wingspan of 9.8 - 11 inches.

WEIGHT: weighs about 35.3 - 41.3 grams.

Seeds, grains and insects, and some fruits.

Endemic to the grasslands and shrub-steppe of North America.

BREEDS: Great Plains from southern Alberta and Saskatchewan to northern Texas and Northeastern New Mexico.

WINTER: Southern Great Plains to Central Mexico.

CALL: A soft “hoo-ee” given in flock. Adults bringing food to young at nest utter “whert” or “wheert” calls. The response of young to adults is a buzz call.

SONG: A varied series of whistles and trills, both sweet and harsh in tone. May be given from perches and during flights.

NEST: Both sexes build a loose cup nest with grass stalks, fine roots, leaves, and stems, lined with fine-blade grasses or hair.

EGGS: 3 - 6 light blue eggs.

INCUBATION: 10 - 11 days, female fed by male occasionally.

NESTLING PHASE: 7 - 9 days.

They breed in open grasslands, usually with at least some element of sagebrush, but they also forage and even nest in hayfields and other agricultural fields in some parts of their range.

The oldest recorded Lark Bunting was a male and was at least 4 years, 10 months old.


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