May 15, 2017 – Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)

These sparrows are found in southern Canada, Mexico, and much of the United States, excluding the east. They feed primarily on seeds and insects, spending much of their time foraging on the ground. Unlike many other sparrows they walk while on the ground, rather than hopping. During the breeding season, pairs select their nesting sites together, with males placing small sticks at potential sites and females building the nests. They build the cup-shaped nests on the ground, in shrubs, or in small trees, from grass, twigs, or stems, and line them with fine grasses or horse hair. Pairs may also take over old mockingbird or thrasher nests, sometimes sharing these, as eggs and chicks of both species have been observed in the same nest. Females incubate the eggs alone, but both parents care for the chicks.