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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Striped grain-eater


Someday I'll get better pictures of a Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammica), but I thought I'd share this one for now because it's such a pretty bird.  This species is rare on Bodega Head, but more common inland.

I ran into a flock of about 10-12 Lark Sparrows feeding on the ground at Crane Creek Regional Park on 15 November 2015.

I hadn't looked into the meaning of their scientific name before, so it was fun to learn that it means "striped grain-eater."  

The name is appropriate in that Lark Sparrows eat a lot of seeds (especially from grasses).  However, I was intrigued to learn that ~25% of their diet can be insects (primarily grasshoppers!).  [Diet facts from The Birds of North America Online.]

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