Lark Bunting Life History


Habitat GrasslandsPlains, prairies, meadows and sagebrush. Winters in cultivated lands, brushy areas, and desert.Back to top


Food InsectsInsects, seeds, grain, and some fruits.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nest Description

Loose bowl of grass, fine roots, and plant stems, lined with fine grasses or hair. Placed in scrape on ground, rim level with ground. Usually under shrub.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:2-6 eggs
Egg Description:Unmarked light blue.
Condition at Hatching:Helpless with sparse gray down.
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Behavior Ground ForagerFeeds on ground; strongly avoids feeding under cover. Some flycatching.Back to top


Conservation Common Bird in Steep DeclineLark Bunting populations declined by 5.4% per year between 1966 and 2014, resulting in a cumulative decline of 93%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 9.1 million with 98% spending some part of the year in the U.S., 56% in Mexico, and 2% breeding in Canada. The species rates a 12 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Lark Bunting is a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species and is listed a Common Bird in Steep Decline on the 2014 State of the Birds Report. Back to top


Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. 2014. The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center 2014b. Available from

Shane, Thomas G. 2000. Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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