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Grassland Sparrow Ammodramus humeralis

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Passerellidae
  • Polytypic: 4 subspecies
  • Authors needed...
  • © Bertrando Campos

The Grassland Sparrow looks and acts much like the more northern Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) which is likely familiar to North American readers. Grassland Sparrows are large-headed and relatively short-tailed, giving them a unique shape similar to their northern relative. Grassland Sparrows are dull and brownish above, with a pale central crown stripe and a face adorned with yellow supralores, and white crescents above and below the eyes. Their underparts are grayish-white, with warmer colored flanks. It is a well named sparrow as it is found in various types of grassland, but favoring older (old field) type grasslands, rather than heavily grazed areas. They require some taller forbs in the grassland, and use them to sing from, although fence posts are equally useful for this purpose. The Grassland Sparrow is relatively conspicuous early in the breeding season when they are singing from a prominent perch. After breeding, they retreat to the grass and are much more difficult to find. Their song is pleasant but soft, and high pitched with an insect-like quality to it, although the final trill can be sweet and resonating.

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© Paul A. Schwartz

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

Recommended Citation

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