Lark Sparrow

Chondestes grammacus

In summer Lark Sparrows will range over most of the USA west of the Appalachian Range north the southern prairies of Canada. They prefer open grassland habitats with adjoining scattered woods and bushes, where they forage on the ground for insects and seeds. Aside from a few small pockets where they’ll stay year round in places like Oregon, California, southern Idaho, Texas and the Mexican borderland of the American Southwest, most of these birds will migrate south to Mexico for winter.

It is the females who choose the nesting site, either on the ground or low in a tree or bush. Pairs are monogamous for a season and don’t tolerate interlopers on their territory. After nesting, they’ll congregate in loose flocks, often mixing with White-Crowned and Savannah Sparrows.

The meetings I’ve had with Lark Sparrows have been in the western USA in California, Utah, Texas and along the southern borders of Arizona and New Mexico. During my expedition to Texas in the spring of 2020, I spotted them at several locations in Southern Texas, but only near Brownsville was I able to capture a photo. Later, near Mission (Texas) I found them offering better views.

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