The Lark Bunting is sexually dimorphic, but both sexes have a thick, grayish to bluish bill and a large, white patch on each wing.
Breeding males are all black, except for the extensive white in the wings and white tips to the tail feathers.
FemaleFemales are brownish above and whitish below with a streaked breast.
Seasonal change in appearance
Fall males resemble females but are darker.
JuvenileJuveniles are similar to adult females.
HabitatLark Buntings inhabit shortgrass prairies and sagebrush plains.
DietLark Buntings eat insects and seeds.
BehaviorLark Buntings forage on the ground, often in flocks during migration and winter.
Lark Buntings breed across much of the interior western U.S. They winter across the southwestern U.S. and Mexico. The population has declined in recent decades.
Bent Life History
Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Lark Bunting.
With few tall perches in its shortgrass prairie habitat, Lark Buntings give a flight song from within their territories.
Fall migration begins for some birds as early as July.
VocalizationsThe song consists of a series of whistled notes and rattles. A soft "hew" call is given as well.
The Lark Bunting’s nest is a cup of grasses and is lined with finer materials. It is placed on the ground, often under overhanging vegetation.
EggsNumber: Usually lay 4-5 eggs.
Color: Light blue.
Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 11-12 days, and fledge at about 8-9 days, though remaining dependent on the adults for some time.