The Lark Sparrow: Walk this Way

Derek Lovitch of Freeport Wild Bird Supply recently spotted a Lark Sparrow on the Eastern Prom. Naturally, we were curious to learn more about this unusual songbird -- so here goes:

The Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus) is a large American Sparrow that is the sole member of its genus. Lark Sparrows are found in southern Canada, most of the United States and northern Mexico. They are much less common in the east -- so sightings in Maine are a special treat. Adults sport a dark-streaked brown back and white underparts with a dark chest spot and white tail corners. Their striking head color includes chestnut cheeks and crown sides and white eyebrow and crown stripes. Juveniles are duller in color.

Unlike like many songbirds, the Lark Sparrow walks instead of hops, except during courtship. Lark Sparrows primarily eat seeds, but they also thrive on insects during the breeding season. The song is two clear notes followed by buzzes and trills, while the flight call is a thin sit.

Eastern Promenade Bird List

Learn more about the Lark Sparrow