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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 17:24 EDT

Lark Bunting

The Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys) is a medium-sized sparrow and the sole member of the genus Calamospiza.

This bird has a characteristic large pale bill and pale wing patch. During times of breeding sdult males are completely black, all except for their white wing patch. Females and juveniles are more sparrow-like in appearance with dark brown upperparts and white underparts, streaking on the back, breast and flanks. The wings are dark in color with brown on the edges.

The breeding habitat of this bird can be found on the prairie regions in central Canada through the mid-western United States. The nest is an open cup on the ground in a grassy area.

These birds migrate in flocks to southern Texas and Mexico.

They forage on the ground for insects in the summer and seeds in the winter sometimes taking flight for a short time in order to catch their prey. Outside of the nesting season, they often feed in flocks.

These birds nest in isolated colonies. The males will fly over their territory and sing while descending to declare ownership. The song consists of a mix of whistles and trills and the call is a soft hoo.

This bird’s numbers have decreased with the loss of natural prairie habitat.

This is the state bird of Colorado.

Lark Bunting