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BIRD OF THE WEEK
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Calamospiza melanocorys
POPULATION: 10 million
HABITAT: Breeds on shortgrass prairie or sagebrush plain with grassy understory. Uses wide variety of open habitats during migration and in winter.
Lark Buntings breed from Canada south through northern New Mexico and Texas; they winter from the southern Great Plains to the Chihuahuan grasslands of central Mexico. Their numbers may fluctuate greatly from year to year on their breeding grounds, depending on local drought conditions.
The Lark Bunting is a gregarious species, found in large flocks that sometimes number in the thousands during migration and in the winter. The birds even nest in loosely-knit colonies on the dry western grasslands where they breed, alongside species such as Horned Lark or Mountain Plover.