Colorado State Bird

What Is the Colorado State Bird?

The official state bird of Colorado is the lark bunting, which was picked as the state bird during the early 20th century. This is a songbird that has an average size with a distinctive black and white coat of feathers. The lark bunting typically eats bugs, but it will also eat seeds and weeds, particularly during the winter. The lark bunting is a common sight throughout the Rocky Mountains, which made the bird a good choice to be one of the official mascots and symbols of the state.

Why Did Colorado Pick the Lark Bunting?

Colorado selected the lark bunting to be the official bird of the state because it is one of the most common birds throughout the state. While the lark bunting is not a lark or a bunting (it is a sparrow), it has tantalized the residents for many years with its beautiful songs and its unique courtship rituals. A lot of residents love to watch the bird dances, as the males perform for the females, trying to find a mate. During the dance, the male will catapult 50 feet into the air, spinning downward in what looks like a death spiral, while singing a beautiful song before pulling out of the dive. There is nothing else like the lark bunting, and Colorado has fallen in love with the little bird.

When Did Colorado Name the Lark Bunting as its State Bird?

Colorado adopted the lark bunting as the official state bird in 1931. During that time, there was a heated debate about what the state bird should be. Colorado initially asked the school kids to vote on options for the state bird, with some of the most popular options being the Mountain Bluebird, the Meadowlark, and the lark bunting. Colorado held presentations from a variety of people each campaigning for different birds. Eventually, it was a group of high school students who presented the lark bunting to the legislature and won the hearts of the government. Then, the lark bunting was adopted as the official state bird.

What Does the Lark Bunting Look Like?

The lark bunting has black feathers with white accents on the wings. It looks like it always has a tuxedo on, and the wingspan is usually just under a foot. The lark bunting is also one of the lightest birds, only weighing about 1.3 ounces. There are also brown feathers with stripes on the wings, which help the bird stand out. What Does the Lark Bunting Do?

The lark bunting is a gentle bird that lives in the prairies and grasses of the state. They also build nests on the ground, typically hiding them in the shrubs and underneath trees. The lark bunting tends to migrate during the winter, flying to Arizona and Texas. Then, they return to CO during the summer. It is the song and dance routine that makes the lark bunting stand out, as it has an elaborate ritual it performs when looking for a mate.

Colorado state bird
Lark bunting
Scientific Name
Calamospiza melanocorys
Year Became Official