vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.

 

IDENTIFICATION:

  • Length: 5.5 inches

  • Conical bill

  • Long, dark tail with white outer feathers

  • White eye ring

  • Rusty lesser coverts (not always visible)

  • Brown upperparts with dark streaks

  • White underparts with dark streaks

  • Sexes similar

  • Juvenile plumage (summer) somewhat darker

  • Found in open fields

  • Forages on the ground

  • Male often sings from high perch (tree, telephone wire, e.g.)

Similar species:

When flushed, the white outer tail feathers of the vesper sparrow are
easy to observe. Other birds with this field mark are American pipit,
horned lark, lark sparrow and longspurs. All lack the heavily streaked
breast of the vesper sparrow. When perched, the vesper sparrow looks
similar to several other species of sparrows. Savannah has a yellow
supercilium, pale central crown stripe, shorter tail and lacks rusty
shoulder and eye ring. Song has rounded tail, breast spot, and lacks
rusty shoulder and eye ring. Lincoln's has a buffy breast. Baird's and
juvenile grasshopper are larger-headed and shorter-tailed.

 

LIFE HISTORY

Migration Status: Short distance migrant
Breeding Habitat: Grassland
Nest Location: Ground-low nesting
Nest Type: Open-cup
Clutch Size: 3-5
Length of Incubation: 11-13 days
Days to Fledge: 9(7-14)
Number of Broods: 1-3, usually 2
Diet: Primarily insects and seeds

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION/SEASONAL OCCURRENCE

 

Relative abundance and seasonal occurrence are indicated in red below.

 

Relative abundance
     C - Common: Likely to be present in good numbers in appropriate habitat and season.
     U - Uncommon: May be present in appropriate habitat and season, often in low
            numbers.
     O - Occassional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times per season,
            sometimes low numbers.
     R - Rare: May not be recorded every year.
     Acc - Accidental: Recorded once or twice, may not be expected again for a long time.

 

Seasonal Occurrence
      Sp - Spring: March, April, May
U
      Su - Summer: June, July, August
      Fall: September, October, November
O

      Winter: December, January, February

 

 

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