Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Lark Bunting - Calamospiza melanocorys
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General Comments It has been more than 25 years (i.e., in 1991) since this conspicuous species of the short-grass prairies was last seen in North Carolina, a clear indication that the Lark Bunting has lost much of its global population in the past few decades. There are six state records, not all of which have been reviewed and accepted by the NC BRC; all are from the eastern half of the state -- four from the Outer Banks/Roanoke Island.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank G5
Coastal Plain Formerly a casual migrant (through 1970); now accidental. There are five records, four from Dare. One was seen at Bodie Island on 2 Sep 1963 [Chat 28:31-32 link]; one was noted at Wanchese, 8-10 Sep 1970 [Chat 35:34 link]; another was at Pea Island NWR on 27 Oct 1970 [Chat 35:56 link]; and a male was seen in breeding plumage at Southern Shores on 21 May 1991 [Chat 56:44 link]. A report of a male from Cumberland on 7 Jul 1958 is the only summer record [Chat 23:20 link]. Probably none of these have been reviewed by the NC BRC, though most if not all are likely correct.
Piedmont Accidental. A singing male in breeding plumage at Dorothea Dix farm in Raleigh, 2-12 May 1978, is the only Piedmont record to date [Chat 44:20 link]. It was also photographed [Chat 43:56 link], the only record so documented.
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips
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Attribution LeGrand[2019-07-14], LeGrand[2018-02-01], LeGrand[2015-07-04]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.