Saturday, May 30, 2015

Lark Sparrow in the Motel Wilderness, Cedar City, Utah

My bird discoveries can't all be Golden Eagles. I'm on the road and seeing a few new species during my travels. I prefer wilderness/natural settings, but sometimes you see things in the midst of urbanity. There was a lot of bird noise outside my motel window this morning, so I ventured forth into the Motel Wilderness to see who was out and about. The "wilderness" was a grass/sagebrush meadow behind the motel at the south end of town. Among the House Finches and English Sparrows I saw an unfamiliar sparrow. I got several decent shots and headed back upstairs to see who it was.
What does this expression mean?
It turned out to be a Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus). It's not rare, and they live in California too, but this is the first one I've seen and identified. According to the Cornell guide, it is so distinctive that it is the only member of its genus in the United States. The head markings certainly caught my eye.
Look for a few more common birds in coming days. I've learned some lessons about the variety of those little gray birds lurking in the brush!

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