Nelson’s Sparrow

(Ammodramus nelsoni)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

 

No Image Available

NatureServe

N3B, N5N - Vulnerable Breeding and Secure Nonbreeding

S3B - Vulnerable Breeding

Minnesota

Special Concern

Species in Greatest Conservation Need

Occurrence

Rare to uncommon migrant, rare breeder

Habitat

Sedge meadows, wet prairies, grass or sedge marshes with tall shoreline vegetation

Size

5 to 6in length

7 wingspan


Identification

The face, breast, sides, and flank are orangish-buff. The cheek, central crown stripe, and nape of the neck are gray. The chin is light buff. The back is gray with brown stripes. The underparts are finely streaked. The tail is not notched.

 
Voice

A series of three insect-like buzzes: long high – short high – long low; entire call lasting less than two seconds.

A single, insect-like, warbling buzz, lasting about a second.

 
Similar
Species

 


Food

Insects, spiders, and other invertebrates in the summer, seeds in the winter.

 
Nesting

 

 
Migration

Late August to mid-October


Comments

What’s in a Name?
This species and Saltmarsh Sparrow were originally thought to be one species, Sharp-tailed Sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus). In 1998, the species was split. The Saltmarsh Sparrow retained its scientific name and this species became Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow (Ammodramus nelsoni). In 2009 the common name was simplified to Nelson’s Sparrow.

Taxonomy
The taxonomic arrangement below follows Sibley/Monroe World List of Bird Names. It is based on DNA relationships and is being adopted by a growing number of ornithologists worldwide, including National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)34. The rearrangement has been adopted in part by the American Ornithologists’ Union (AOU). However, the AOU has not adopted the rearrangement of New World sparrows. In the Sibley/Monroe arrangement, the family Emberizidae (buntings, American sparrows, and relatives) is merged with the family Fringillidae (finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers) and Emberizinae and Fringillinae are subfamilies.


Taxonomy

Order:

Passeriformes (perching birds)

 

Superfamily:

Passeroidea

 

Family:

Fringillidae (finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers)

 

Subfamily:

Emberizinae

 

Tribe:

Emberizini

 
Subordinate Taxa

Atlantic Coast Nelson’s Sparrow (Ammodramus nelsoni subvirgatus)

James Bay Sparrow (Ammodramus nelsoni alter)

Nelson’s Sparrow (Ammodramus nelsoni nelsoni)

 
Synonyms

Ammospiza nelsoni


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

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  Nelson's Sparrow
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Nelson's Sparrow  
     
  "Interior" Nelson's Sparrow
JMC Nature Photos
 
  "Interior" Nelson's Sparrow  

 

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  Nelson's Sparrow (Great Bay Blvd WMA/Tuckerton)
Brian Henderson
 
   
 
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Published on Oct 20, 2014

Nelson's Sparrow (Ammodramus nelsoni) at Great Bay Boulevard Wildlife Management Area in Tuckerton, Ocean county, New Jersey. Shot through a spotting scope. Recorded October 18, 2014.

 
     
  Nelson's Sparrow
WIld Bird Video Productions
 
   
 
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Uploaded on Jun 11, 2011

Nelsons sparrow singing in a Maine slatmarsh. © 2011 Garth McElroy

License at http://www.paya.com/videos/135210

 
     
  Nelson's Sparrow singing
Mike Burrell
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 29, 2013

This male Nelson's Sparrow was singing at the top of a small shrub in a sedge marsh having just arrived during the night.

 
     
  Nelson's Sparrow with song
Brian Mortimer
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 17, 2013

This is one of many Nelson's Sparrows that I found in the salt marsh behind Rushton's Beach, Nova Scotia in July 2013.

 
     
  Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow
Doug Hitchcox
 
   
 
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Uploaded on Nov 17, 2008

Taken at the Scarborough Marsh (Maine)

 
     

 

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