Common Name

Scientific Name


Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The lark bunting, Calamospiza melanocorys, is a bird of the shortgrass pairie, found during spring and summer in the Great Plains of North America, from Texas north to central Canada. The breeding range of the species extends west to Utah, but is restricted to the extreme northeastern part of the state. Large flocks migrate to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico for the winter. Populations often do not return to the same breeding sites, making population monitoring difficult.

Nests are often arranged in loose colonies, and males may mate with more than one female. Nests consist of grass cups lined with fine fibers and hairs placed in small depressions made by the birds. Typically four or five eggs are laid and incubated by the female for twelve days. Young can fly after only eight or nine days, and a second brood may sometimes follow.


  • Rising, J. D., and D. D. Beadle. 1996. A guide to the identification and natural history of the sparrows of the United States and Canada. Academic Press, San Diego. xii + 365 pp.

  • Baicich, P. J., and C. J. O. Harrison. 1997. A guide to the nests, eggs, and nestlings of North American Birds, Second Ed. Academic Press, San Diego. 347 pp.