The "Lark Sparrow" stands out from other sparrows with its distinctive markings. His breast is white with a single dark spot in the middle. His back is streaked brown, and his tail is black with white edges. You will find it rummaging along the ground for insects and seeds along some country road.
Mostly 'ground-bound', the "Lark Sparrow" will sometimes leap up to snatch a passing insect, then continue to skip and scamper along the road, playful and unafraid.
Known for their turkey-like strutting disply while courting, the male "Lark Sparrow" spreads his white-rimmed tail and dances before the curious female.
Calls or song.
The male "Lark Sparrow" sings, from an elevated perch, songs consisting of a melodious jumble of rich notes and trills, interspersed with harsh buzzy or gurgling sounds. The name, "Lark Sparrow" arose because some listeners decided these vocalizations shared certain tonal elements with the song of the "Lark".
Population and distribution.
This is a bird of the grasslands of open pastures, dotted with trees and bushes. It breeds and resides in most areas of the United States except for the Northeast. It winters only as far south as Florida and Southern California.
The "Lark Sparrow" constructs a well-made cup of grass and plant stems, either on the ground, in a bush or as high as ten feet in a low tree. There the female lays 3-5 white eggs heavily spotted with dark brown and black. The nests of "Mocking Birds" have been found with both their own and "Lark Sparrow" eggs in them, but it is not clear whether the sparrows have taken over an abandoned nest or driven away the original occupants, however, since "Mocking Birds" are pretty aggressive, that seems unlikely.