Boldly-marked dweller of open lands. Common in all but East Coast in summer; California and Texas in winter. Timing: summer and winter. Prefers open areas with scattered shrubs and trees, grasslands and field edges. Medium with a pointed, conical bill; plumage is tan and black with rufous face mask. Monotypic genus (Chondestes grammacus). Walks, rather than hops, on the ground. Often takes over thrasher and mockingbird nests and may share the nest. Diet includes Insects and seeds on the ground. Oldest wild individual recorded was 9. Population ~ 7 million.