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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Lark Sparrow -- Chondestes grammacus

RANGE: Breeds from western Oregon and Washington, north into southern Canada, east through the Great Plains to the Missouri River, south throughout the Southwest into Mexico. Winters from central California, southern Arizona, and Texas south to Baja California, throughout Mexico, and in parts of the Gulf Coast up through South Carolina.

STATUS: Common throughout most of its range.

HABITAT: Generally inhabits open prairies and other open lands. In the spring, frequently found along roadsides with grassy vegetation, but prefers open areas with scattered brush and trees. Also inhabits forest edges, cultivated areas, orchards, fields, and savannahs.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Dry fields with scattered bushes or trees or open edge.

NEST: Builds nest either on the ground or in low trees or bushes. Breeds in the open but retires to the borders of open woodlands or brushy areas after the young have hatched.

FOOD: Eats both soft-bodied insects and seeds.

REFERENCES: Forbush and May 1955.

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