sparrow-like bird eating alongside cardinals

(Singer, LA)

These little birds, that I think are sparrows, were eating on the ground outside our window alongside a pair of cardinals. What caught my eye was that their outer tail feathers were flashing as they hopped around. Those feathers seemed white, but I cannot be certain as the flashing was so fast. I unfortunately did not make note of other field markings.

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Jan 07, 2018
feeding with cardinals
by: roma

i think you may have a horned lark, the horns are hard to see. these birds walk or run for food. also in winter it feeds on seeds and ground insects, same as cardinals-which is a type of finch. they are about the same size as cardinals, and have white edgings on their tail feathers. flashing it,s tail might get insects to startle or move. the mockingbird uses this trick, hopping on the ground and suddenly opening it,s wings.

many birds feed in groups in the winter, more eyes can give warning. safety in numbers, hard for a predator( to pick one. i have many birds that visit my yard, but it,s all or none. even the hummingbirds do this.

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