Lark Bunting – State Bird of Colorado
Image courtesy mt.gov (public domain)
Description: The conspicuous Lark Bunting is entirely black with a large white wing patch. It reaches a length of about seven inches. Females and winter males are brownish with heavy streaks. The male Lark Bunting is the only member of the sparrow family to molt from a bright summer plumage to a dull winter plumage. Lark Bunting are often seen on telephone wires or on fences.
Diet: The Lark Bunting eats insects, grains, seeds, and occasionally fruit. It often forages on the ground, and will sometimes snatch insects out of mid-air.
Range: The Lark Bunting is primarily confined to the western plains. It breeds east to eastern Kansas, eastern Nebraska and the Dakotas, west to eastern Idaho. It breeds north to southern portions of the Canadian prairie provinces and south to northern Oklahoma. The Lark Bunting winters in desert regions of Mexico and the American southwest.
Habitat: The Lark Bunting requires grasslands, prairies, meadows and sagebrush. In the winter, the Lark Bunting can be found in desert regions.
Nesting: Female Lark Buntings lay 2-6 eggs in a loose bowl of grass on the ground, usually under a shrub.
Status: Some reports consider the Lark Bunting to be a species in decline.