Family New World Sparrows (Passerellidae)

Least Concern

Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys)


Taxonomy

French: Bruant noir et blanc German: Prärieammer Spanish: Chingolo albinegro
Taxonomy:

Calamospiza melanocorys

Stejneger

, 1885,

plains of Platte River = Nebraska, USA

.

Plumage dichromatism and elaborate aerial displays reminiscent of Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus) and McCown’s Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii), but not closely related. Monotypic.

Distribution:

S Canada (S Alberta E to SW Manitoba) and S in Great Plains of USA (E to Dakotas, rarely W Minnesota) to SE New Mexico, N Texas, W Oklahoma and C Kansas; has bred in wet years in E California. Non-breeding from S Arizona E to SW Kansas, W Oklahoma and C & W Texas, S in Mexico to S Baja California, N Sinaloa, Coahuila (uncommon), NE Jalisco and C Tamaulipas.

Descriptive notes

14–18 cm; 29·5–51·5 g. A large sparrow with large, conical bill and relatively short, notched tail. Male breeding is mostly black, sometimes flecked... read more

Voice

Song, often in flight, a musical mixture of short notes and slurred phrases, “kazee kazee... read more

Habitat

Short-grass prairie with bare ground and sparse, scattered shrubs e.g. sagebrush (Artemisia... read more

Food and feeding

Diet in summer more than 60% animal items, especially short-horned grasshoppers (Acrididae) and beetles (Coleoptera), particularly scarabs... read more

Breeding

Nest-building and egg-laying from early to middle of May in S part of range and late May in N, but can be delayed by up to two weeks in... read more

Movements

Migratory; routes largely through Great Plains and S Canadian Prairies. Earliest N departures from... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Classified as “Declining” in the USA (Yellow WatchList priority species for conservation). Often common or very common in appropriate habitat.... read more