Lark Sparrow, Chondestes
grammacus, A small sparrow that is a common winter visitor. The bold
head markings make identification easy. Normally seen in small
Conservation status In recent
decades, has declined or disappeared in some former nesting areas east of the
Mississippi River. Still fairly common and widespread in
Habitat is open country with bushes, trees; pastures, farms, roadsides.
For nesting, generally favors areas with some open bare ground and some taller
plants; included are overgrazed pastures, sandy barrens, hedgerows near fallow
fields, brushy dry grasslands, sometimes open pinyon-juniper woods. In migration
and winter, found in similar areas, also open weedy fields.
Many sparrows are challenging to identify, but this one is a striking
exception, with its bold face pattern and broad, white-edged tail. Lark Sparrows
favor areas with bare open ground and scattered bushes, habitats that are more
common in the West and Midwest than in the East; they often forage conspicuously
out in the open. When going from place to place, they tend to fly higher than
most sparrows, giving a sharp callnote as they pass overhead.
Does almost all its foraging while
walking about on the ground in open areas. Typically forages in small, loose
4-5, sometimes 3-6.
Creamy to grayish white, spotted with brown and black. Incubation is by female,
11-12 days. Young: Both parents feed the nestlings. Young leave the nest about
9-10 days after hatching.
feed the nestlings. Young leave the nest about 9-10 days after
Mostly seeds and
insects. Feeds heavily on seeds, especially in winter, including those of
grasses and weeds as well as waste grain. Also eats many insects, especially in
summer, including grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, and many others. Young
are fed mostly insects, also some grass seeds.
In courtship, male
may strut about on the ground near the female, with his bill pointed up and his
tail spread wide to show off the white corners.
Nest: Both sexes may take part in
choosing nest site, with male placing twigs at potential site, but female does
actual building. Site varies; often on ground near base of tall weed, but may be
up in shrubs or low trees, up to 7' above the ground, sometimes higher.
Sometimes may nest in crevices in rocky cliffs. Nest is an open cup of grass,
weeds, twigs, lined with fine grass, rootlets, animal
Photos by John
Data by Wikipedia
A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.
Robert Quillen, journalist and cartoonist
Hubbub is a fun, rhyming word for an uproar, a brouhaha, or
another crazy situation that has gone completely higgledy-piggledy.
No one would say, "What's the hubbub?" at the library,
unless it was the loudest, most bonkers day ever in a place that is usually
quiet. A hubbub is chaotic, disorganized, loud, and distracting. Sometimes,
hubbub can mean a controversy, as in "What's the hubbub over this
new law?" If you like peace and quiet, stay away from hubbubs — a word that
sounds as loud and unruly as its meaning.
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Hit him with something bigger