Henslow’s Sparrow

(Centronyx henslowii)

Conservation Status

 

No Image Available

  IUCN Red List

NT - Near Threatened

     
  NatureServe

N3B, N4N - Vulnerable Breeding, Apparently Secure Nonbreeding

S1B - Critically Imperiled Breeding

     
  Minnesota

endangered

Species in Greatest Conservation Need

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Henslow’s Sparrow is a shy bird more often heard than seen, most often seen after being heard. It has a large, flattened head and a short, deeply notched tail. The face, the nape of the neck, and the central crown stripe are all olive green. A dark line from the base of the bill to the breast is a “whisker” stripe. The breast, sides, and flanks are finely streaked.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

5 to 5½ in length

6½ wingspan

 
     
 

Voice

 
   
 

A two note, weak, “see-lick”, sounding much like a cricket.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Baird’s Sparrow (Centronyx bairdii) has a buff-colored head and a long tail.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Breeding: Grassy areas more than 250 acres in size with a significant litter layer of matted dead vegetation and scattered shrubs or other standing herbs

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Migration

 
 

 

 
     
 

Nesting

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

Crickets, short-horned grasshoppers, beetles, spiders, butterfly larvae, bees, and seeds.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Occurrence

 
 

Rarely seen migrant, uncommon, local, and irregular breeder

 
         
 

Maps

 
 

The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Aves (birds)  
 

Order

Passeriformes (perching birds)  
 

Family

Passerellidae (New World sparrows)  
 

Genus

Centronyx (Baird’s and Henslow’s sparrows)  
       
 

New World sparrows were traditionally combined with buntings into the family Emberizidae. Recent phylogenetic analysis (Barker et al. 2013) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis (Klicka et al. 2014) found that the Old World buntings should be separated as a sister to New World sparrows. New World sparrows have been separated into a new family, Passerellidae.

This species was formerly classified as Ammodramus henslowii. Molecular studies in 2007, 2009, 2014, 2015, and 2016 indicated that Henslow’s sparrow is closely related to Baird’s Sparrow, and neither belonged in the genus Ammodramus. The two species were recently placed in their own genus Centronyx.

 
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Eastern Henslow’s Sparrow (Centronyx henslowii susurrans)

Western Henslow’s Sparrow (Centronyx henslowii henslowii)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Ammodramus henslowii

Nemospiza henslowii susurrans

Passerherbulus henslowii

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Camera

 

     
Slideshows
   
  Henslow's Sparrow
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Henslow's Sparrow  
     
  Henslow's Sparrow
Ed McVicker
 
  Henslow's Sparrow  

 

slideshow

       
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Other Videos
 
  Henslow's Sparrow
Lang Elliott
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 6, 2010

The Henslow's Sparrow is an inconspicuous little brown bird that inhabits grassy meadows in the Midwest and portions of the East. It's song is an extremely high-pitched, metallic "tsi-di-lick" that reminds one of the chirp of a cricket. Described by Roger Tory Peterson as "one of the poorest vocal efforts of any bird," the song transforms into a delightful musical cascade when slowed down to about one-quarter speed.

© 2010 Lang Elliott & Bob McGuire
The Music of Nature
musicofnature.org

   
       
  Henslow's Sparrow
eBirdr Channel
 
   
 
About

Published on May 24, 2014

This sparrow is becoming rare and local in weedy fields. Eastern and central United States; southern Ontario. It is a short-tailed and flat-headed sparrow with a big pale bill. Breast is finely streaked. It has a striped crown and olive head. The wings are reddish.

It is secretive and may be overlooked but for its distinctive voice.
The song is a hiccuping unmusical "sslick".

   
       
  Henslow's Sparrow
Stoil Ivanov
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 11, 2010

Henslow's Sparrow (Centronyx henslowii ) singing in Goose Lake Prairie State Park Illinois . This is very secretive and unremarkable sparrow. Mostly seen when sings.

   
       
  Henslow's Sparrow on the Prairie
Danny Brown
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 8, 2013

A Henslow's sparrow sings its simple song on the prairie at Shaw Nature Reserve in Missouri.

   
       
  Henslow's Sparrow Habitat in Georgia
GeorgiaWildlife
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 8, 2015

Wildlife biologist Todd Schneider talks about why Henslow's sparrow habitat is important to a variety of wildlife species and rare plants in Georgia on a recent visit to Paulks Pasture WMA. Learn more about conserving nongame wildlife in Georgia at http://georgiawildlife.com/conservation/AnnualReport,

   
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
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