Passerculus sandwichensis
(Savannah Sparrow)

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

Physical Description:
4 1/2-5 3/4" (11-15 cm). Typical adults sandy brown above with dusky streaks; pale central crown stripe bordered by dark stripes; double dark mustache streaks separated by whitish area (upper streak often joins dark ear spot and eyeline to form dark face triangle); eyebrow pale, usually yellowish from bill to eye; white below with dusky streaks on breast and sides; some birds have dark central breast spot. Short notched tail, pale pink legs.

Similar Species- Lincoln's, Song, Baird's, and Vesper Sparrows

Soft tsit-tsit-tsee-tsay, last note lower.

Breeds across portions of Alaska and Canada, south to Indiana and New Jersey, and south through western U.S. and Mexico (locally) to southwestern Guatemala. Winters from southern British Columbia, southern Nevada, Gulf states, and Massachusetts, south to northern Honduras.

Found in open areas, especially grasslands, tundra, meadows, bogs, farmlands, grassy areas with scattered bushes, and marshes.

During summer, eats insects, spiders, and snails. Adults feed arthropods to young. Individuals feed on seeds at other times of year.

Builds cup-shaped nest on ground, frequently under covering vegetation. Infrequently nests in loose colonies. Forages on ground. May form small aggregations in winter.

Both sexes, in turn, incubateClick word for definition 3-6 eggs (usually 4-5), for 12 days. Nestlings are altricialClick word for definition and downy. Young leave nest about 14 days after hatching.

Element Code: ABPBX99010
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5B,N5N

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.

Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.