5-5 1/2" (13-15 cm). Gray with black and chestnut edging on feathers above, dark striping on crown, and a white eyering.
Similar Species- Clay-colored and Vesper sparrows.
Dry, buzzy trills on different notes, descending at the end.
Breeds across portions of western Canada and southwestern North Dakota, south to southern California, southern Nevada, central Arizona, and northwestern New Mexico. Winters from portions of southwestern U.S., south to southern Baja California and central mainland of Mexico.
In Idaho, builds cup-shaped nest in sagebrush between 20 and 50 cm high or in low tree. Forages on ground. May be abundant in sagebrush habitat (Great Basin and Pacific slopes). In eastern Washington, as many as 47 pairs have been recorded on 100 ac. Breeding density of 0.08-0.10 individuals/ha has been reported in shadscale habitat in eastern Nevada. Breeding territory averaged 0.52 ha in Idaho study. During nesting season many males may sing in chorus at dawn and twilight. Two Idaho studies have indicated nesting success is quite low. In Great Basin, population density is usually 150-300/km2, but may exceed 500/km2 in some cases. Species is one of 7 neotropical migrants thought to be declining in Idaho.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
Peterson, K.L. and L.B. Best. 1985. Brewer's sparrow nest-site characteristics in sagebrush community. J. Field Ornith. 56:23-27.