State Bird of Colorado

State Bird of Colorado

The Lark Bunting Was Designated as the Official State Bird of Colorado in the Year 1931. The Lark Bunting was chosen because of its acrobatic courtship dance and melodic song. As a part of the sparrow family, Colorado State Bird lark buntings are medium-sized songbirds. They are approximately 5 to 7 inches in length with a wingspan of 11 inches. Lark buntings have short, light-colored bills and short tails with white-tipped feathers.

State Bird of Colorado wings features a large white patch. Breeding male lark buntings have a dark body with white wings, while females and nonbreeding males have a grayish brown body with stripes. The Lark Bunting is a migrant bird. State Bird of Colorado Lark Bunting arrives in April and inhabit the plains regions and areas up to 8,000 feet in elevation. They fly south again in September. The male Lark Bunting bird is black with snowy white wing patches and edgings, tail coverts and outer tail feathers.

In winter the Colorado State Bird male bird changes to a gray-brown like the female bird, however, the chin remains black and the black belly feathers retain white edgings. The female bird is gray-brown above and whites below with dusky streaks. The male bird is six to seven inches while the female is slightly smaller. The male bird performs a spectacular courtship flight, during which he warbles and trills a distinctive mating song.

 

APPEARANCE:

As a part of the sparrow family, lark buntings are medium-sized songbirds. They are approximately 5 to 7 inches in length with a wing span of 11 inches.

HABITAT:

Lark buntings make their home in the prairie and grassland regions of central and western North America. In summer, they live in meadows and sagebrush-covered areas. Lark buntings build their nests on the ground in grassy areas and under shrubs.

DIET:

Lark buntings always feed in flocks except during their nesting season. They mainly forage for food on the ground. During the summer, they eat insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, bees, and ants. In the winter, their diet consists of seeds from grasses and weeds.

 

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION:

Kingdom: Animalia (animal)

Phylum: Chordata (animals with a backbone)

Class: Aves (bird)

Order: Passeriformes (perching birds)

Family: Emberizidae (emberized finches, American sparrows, towhees, buntings)

Genus: Calamospiza Bonaparte, 1838

Species: Calamospiza melanocorys Stejneger

Binomial Name: Calamospiza melanocorys Stejneger

Taxonomic Serial Number: 179312

 

Fun Facts for Kids:

  1. The Lark bunting, since April 29, 1931, has been Colorado’s official state bird.
  2. The male of this species is the only one of the sparrow family that completely changes its plumage from distinctive colors in the breeding season to plain winter colors.
  3. A group of buntings is known as a “decoration”, “sacrifice” or “mural”, of buntings.

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