Melospiza lincolnii
(Lincoln's Sparrow)


Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Emberizidae
Family Description: Blackbirds, Orioles, & Sparrows

Physical Description:
5-6" (13-15 cm). Resembles Song Sparrow, but more slender; tail shorter; face grayer; breast buffClick word for definition with much finer streaks. Eyebrow and sides of neck gray; cheek brownish with buff mustache; narrow eye-ring white.

Similar Species- Song Sparrow, immature Swamp Sparrow

Song:
Trilling that starts with low passages, rises abruptly, then drops.

Distribution:
Breeds across portions of Alaska and Canada, south to southwestern U.S., central Minnesota, and New England. Winters from southern U.S., south regularly to Honduras, and casually to central Panama.

Habitat:
Found in bogs, wet meadows, riparianClick word for definition thickets, shrubby forest edges, marshes, and brushy fields. Idaho study found Lincoln's Sparrows preferred wet, short-willow communities for breeding.

Diet:
Eats insects, seeds, and grain.

Ecology:
Forages on ground. Builds cup-shaped nest on ground. One study reported breeding territory of about 0.4 ha. Species possibly competes with Song Sparrow when breeding territories overlap.

Reproduction:
Female incubatesClick word for definition 3-6 eggs (usually 4-5), for about 13 days. Young are tended by both parents, and leave nest at 10-12 days. Female may produce 2 broodsClick word for definition/yr.

Conservation:
Element Code: ABPBXA3020
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5B,N5N

Important State References:
Douglas, D.C., J.T. Ratti, R.A. Black, and J.R. Alldredge. 1992. Avian habitat associations in riparian zones of Idaho's Centennial Mountains. Wilson Bull. 104:485- 500.


Photos by Peter S. Weber,© 2000 and Jason Karl,© 2000
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.