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Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday's Foto

To the uninitiated, the word "sparrow" usually evokes images of a dull, uninteresting, little brown job (LBJ). One look at a Lark Sparrow easily challenges that common misconception. With its boldly patterned chestnut, white, and black head pattern, this bird is impossible to mistake for any other sparrow.

A bird of grasslands, their preferred breeding habitat adjoins areas with scattered shrubs, including overgrazed pastures, sandy barrens, hedgerows near fallow fields and brushy dry grasslands. They have been extirpated from their historic eastern breeding grounds, but are fairly common west of the Mississippi. This pretty sparrow is periodically seen around NYC during migration. Foraging on the ground, their diet consists mostly of seeds, with some insects, especially during the breeding season.

Their conservation status according to the IUCN Red list is "Least Concern".

The Lark Sparrow's scientific name, Chondestes grammacus, means grain eater; lined (perhaps referring to its bold facial lines).

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