Lark Bunting, Calamospiza melanocorys, Alabama TWS, Genessee Co., NY, 22 April 2000.


Photos Kevin J. McGowan


These pictures were taken by me with a Cannon PowerShot Pro70 digital camera through my Swarovski HD-80 spotting scope on 22 April 2000. Although a nice camera, the Cannon is not as good at taking pictures through the spotting scope as the Olympus D-450. But, the Olympus was being repaired and a friend was kind enough to lend me the Cannon.

Jay and I got a good look at the male Lark Bunting in Genessee Co on Saturday, 22 April 2000. It was cooperative enough to give us instant good looks on our arrival. No doubt about identification: the overall black coloring, large white wing patch, thick conical silver bill, and complex whistling song were all readily apparent.

It appears to be a male, and perhaps a SY bird. Note the extensived light tips to some of the feathers, and the scattered brown feathers amongst the black.


The conical bill shape is apparent in the next photo.







Male Lark Buntings can be variable in the amounts of black on the body. The following are a series of male Lark Buntings from the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates collection.


The variability is even more noticeable on the backs (same birds in the same sequence).



Note the similarity of the New York bird to the specimen 4th from left (blowup of face below). That specimen is CU19278, a male taken by Louis Agassiz Fuertes in Texas on 22 April 1901 (exactly 99 years before I took the pictures of the NY bird!).


Photos Kevin J. McGowan

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Revised: November 02, 2001.