5-6 1/2" (13-17 cm). Rough, unkempt appearance due to the dark feathers that protrude from a light breast; also black and brown feathers that do not lay flat on back and wings. Streaked head with white eyering. "rufous shoulder patches and white outer tail feathers."
Similar Species- Pipits, immature Lark Sparrow, Chestnut-collared and McCown's longspurs, Smith's Longspur, Lapland Longspur, female Lark Bunting.
Song begins with 2-3 throating whistles followed by trilled notes and a rapid melody.
Breeds across portions of Canada, south to eastern and southern California, central Nevada, southwestern Utah, Arizona, central New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Winters in central California, southwestern U.S., and portions of eastern U.S., south to southern Mexico, Gulf Coast and central Florida.
Builds cup-shaped nest on ground in excavated depression. Forages on ground. May bathe in dirt. Female may engage in distraction displays. Species is one of 7 neotropical migrants thought to be declining in Idaho.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
McCoy, M. 1993. Breeding bird survey of clearcut, prescribed burn, and seral/old growth stands of western juniper. USDI Bur. Land Manage., Boise District, Challenge Cost Share Project Report, Boise. 19pp.