Grasshopper Sparrow Ammodramus savannarum

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Passerellidae
  • Polytypic: 11 subspecies
  • Authors needed...
  • © Francisco Piedrahita

The Grasshopper Sparrow is one of North America’s most widespread sparrows, it is not always common but it does cover a lot of the map on the field guide. It is therefore extra impressive that the Grasshopper Sparrow ventures south into Central America, even northernmost South America and the Greater Antilles. There are few birds that are this extensively distributed, the Horned Lark comes to mind only. Throughout the range, from tropical to temperate this is a species of grassland; usually relatively dry grassland with some variation in the height of grass, or at least some taller stalks from which the birds like to sit up and sing. Their song is a high pitched, almost insect-like song, which surely gives the species its name. It is closely related to two Neotropical sparrows, the Grassland and Yellow-browed; in particular the Grassland Sparrow is quite similar to the Grasshopper and can be considered its southern counterpart. Grasshopper Sparrows nest and feed on the ground, and when not singing they are very difficult to see as they spend much of their time hiding in the grass. Grasshopper Sparrow nests are nicely crafted from dry grasses, and often have a grass-lined runway or even a tunnel, leading to and from the nest.

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© Geoffrey A. Keller

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: