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Aimophila notosticta

Oaxaca Sparrow

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Emberizidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Schulenberg, Thomas S., Megan Crewe, and Guy M. Kirwan

Aimophila notosticta

Senderos Presas de Huayapam, Oaxaca, Mexico; 31 January 2016 © Miguel Angel Aguilar Gomez

Oaxaca Sparrow is endemic to the interior of the southwest Mexican state of the same name, where it is a generally common to fairly common resident in arid to semiarid oak and thorn scrub. It is most similar in plumage to the apparently allopatric but rather larger, and larger-billed, Rusty Sparrow (Aimophila rufescens), but Oaxaca Sparrow lacks the rufous tail of the latter, and also shows less rufous in the wings and a more clearly marked face pattern. Oaxaca Sparrows often forage on the ground and within dense cover, making them potentially hard to observe, although they form small flocks of up to ten birds, which sometimes consort with other sparrows. At least during the breeding season, however, Oaxaca Sparrow can be easier to locate, as males sing from relatively conspicuous perches, especially if their scrubby habitat is not yet in bloom.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, Thomas S., Megan Crewe, and Guy M. Kirwan. 2013. Oaxaca Sparrow (Aimophila notosticta), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Arid montane scrub
  • Foraging Strata:Terrestrial/Understory
  • Foraging Behavior:Scratch
  • Diet:---
  • Sociality:Single-Species Flocks
  • Mating System:Unknown
  • Nest Form:Undescribed
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Near Threatened