Lark Bunting 22 October 2009 at Byxbee Park, Palo Alto, SCL Photos © 2009 Joseph Morlan

Today Dan Singer and I decided to visit Byxbee Park in hopes of seeing the Lark Bunting which was known to be present. This Great Plains endemic is a rare visitor to California but this cooperative individual has been delighting birders since it was discovered 18 October by Bob Juhl.

Immature males closely resemble females, but the thin malar (lateral throat) stripe and broad brown fringes on the wing coverts suggest that this individual is a female. This photo shows the diagnostic white patch on the wing coverts, but much of the time this white area was concealed by fluffed body feathers. The taxonomic position of the Lark Bunting is unclear. It is the only member of the genus Calamospiza.
Here the fluffed body feathers, hide the distinctive wing pattern.

Digiscoped with Panasonic DMC-LZ5 | Nikon FieldScope 3 | 30X WA | hand-held (no adapter).
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