Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Jim Parrish
Photo Copyright Jim Parrish

The lark sparrow, Chondestes grammacus, breeds in much of the United States, as well as in southern Canada and Mexico. Populations in northern areas of the breeding range migrate south for winter, but populations in the southern United States and Mexico are non-migratory. The lark sparrow is a common breeder throughout Utah during the summer, but it is much less common during the winter, occurring mainly in the southern part of the state. This species prefers open habitats, such as grasslands and forest edges.

Nests are on the ground at the base of vegetation, or low in a bush or tree. The female lays a clutch of three to six eggs in the late spring, and then incubates the eggs for about twelve days. The young can fly by about ten days of age. Lark sparrows are active during the day, and forage on the ground for insects and seeds. They are often found in large flocks outside of the breeding season.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Peterson, R. T., and V. M. Peterson. 1990. A field guide to western birds, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston. 432 pp.