GRASSHOPPER SPARROW


Ammodramus savannarum


Description:

The Grasshopper Sparrow is named for its buzzy insect-like song. The song is so strange and bug-like that you can't believe that it originates from a bird. This bird is very sensitive to changes in its habitat. If an area becomes overgrown or filled in with trees the bird will no longer nest there. There are twelve subspecies of Grasshopper Sparrow. The Florida subspecies is on the U.S. Endangered Species List because of a loss of suitable habitat.


Appearance:

Mostly brownish upperparts. Unmarked buffy breast. Gray and chestnut-brown streaks on nape, wing coverts and rump. White belly and undertail coverts. Back has black, white and chestnut-brown streaks. Large, flat, head with dark crown and narrow, pale, middle stripe. Buffy yellowish supercilium. Brown eyes. Short tail. Flesh-colored or yellowish legs. Sexes similar. 4 to 5 inches in length.


Habitat:

Open grassy and weedy meadows, pastures, and plains.


Nesting:

4-5 white eggs with light reddish-brown speckles. The eggs have an 11-12 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 9 days. The nest is cup, which is often covered by a dome, and made from grass and lined with rootlets and hair. The nest is built on the ground.


Observed Locations:

  • Mission Trails Regional Park, San Diego





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