Calamospiza melanocorys
(Lark Bunting)


Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Cardinalidae
Family Description: Cardinals, Grosbeaks, & Buntings

Physical Description:
Length 7". Breeding male black with white patches on the inner wings and under tips of the tail. Female is streaked grayish-brown witha buffyClick word for definition wing patch. Winter males look like females with whiter wing patches.

Similar species- Female resembles a Cassin's Finch, but wrong habitat.

Song:
Call is a soft "hooo-ee", and song is a series of high whistles and trills given from a perch or while hovering in a song flight

Distribution:
Great Plains from southern Canada to New Mexico and the Texas panhandle. It has recently invaded eastern Idaho from over the Continental Divide and now nests as far west as Minidoka NWR, with colonies on the Arco desert and near Dubois, as well as lower Curlew Valley.

Habitat:
Found in sagebrush communities and the edges of agricultural fields.

Diet:
Insects and other invertebrates in the summer, seeds in the fall and winter.

Ecology:
GregariousClick word for definition for most of the year, except when breeding, then colonial but territorial. Nest is a cup shaped structure on the ground.

Reproduction:
MonogamousClick word for definition, but later females are polygynousClick word for definition. Lays 4-5 eggs, which are incubated by female (male?) for 11-12 days. Young altricialClick word for definition and fed by both male and female for 8-9 days when they fledgeClick word for definition.

Conservation:
Element Code: -
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G?
State Rank: S?
National Rank: -

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.


Information and photo by C. Trost,© 2000
Design by Ean Harker© 2000.
DAI layout by Mike Legler. 2000.