Chondestes grammacus


The Lark Sparrow gets its name from its melodious song, which resembles those of the lark family. This bird feeds on insects, grains and grasses. Its scientific name means "grain eater with striped head".


Gray-brown upperparts with dark streaks on its back. White underparts with a black spot on center of its breast. Bold head pattern. Chestnut-brown crown and cheeks. White eye ring and throat. White-buff crown stripe and supercilium. Black eyeline and malar streak. Long tail with white outer corners. Pinkish legs. Grayish conical bill. Juvenile similar to adult, but has duller colors and a streaked breast. Sexes similar. 5.5-6.5 inches in length.


Grasslands, deserts, and farms.


3-5 white eggs with many dark brown and black spots. The eggs have an 11-12 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 9-10 days. The nest is an open cup made from grass, twigs and plant stems. The nest is usually built on or near the ground.

Observed Locations:

  • Anza Borrego Desert State Park

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Copyright © Scott Streit, 2000.