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Lark Sparrows are, in my opinion, the most attractive of the numerous sparrow species that show up in southern Arizona. They certainly are among the most colorful. Their faces are marked in rufous, black, and white. Some sparrows are difficult to identify (there is a tendency of sparrow species to resemble each other) but that isn’t the case with Lark Sparrows. They’re a cinch to identify because no other sparrow species has even remotely similar facial plumage.
They are native to the western half of the United States. Their northern summer breeding range just barely edges into Canada. They have a year round presence in parts of southern Arizona and in Mexico.
These little birds’ favorite habitat is grasslands and open country. Normally, one sees them in small flocks. This individual was part of such a flock. Its companions flew as I approached and this one hung around just long enough for me to take its picture.
Image made with a Canon 5Div, 400mm f4 DO II lens+1.4x telextender, M setting (auto ISO), ISO 500, f7.1 @ 1/2000.