Savannah Sparrow

(Passerculus sandwichensis)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

 

No Image Available

NatureServe

N5B, N5N - Secure Breeding and Nonbreeding

SNRB - Unranked Breeding

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common to abundant migrant and breeder

Habitat

Breeding: Sedge meadows, grass meadows, pastures, grassy roadsides, and agricultural fields with cover crops

Migration: Grassy roadsides

Size

5 to 6in length

6½ wingspan


Identification

The underparts are white. The breast and flanks have thin brown or black streaks. The streaked breast has a dark central spot but the breast is not as streaked and the spot is not as strong as the Song Sparrow. The tail is notched. The bill is small. The area between the eye and the upper bill (lores) is yellow, though not as yellow or a prominent as the White-throated Sparrow.

 
Voice

Three or four high-pitched notes followed by a high insect-like buzz then a low trill, the whole series lasting just 2 or 3 seconds.

 
Similar
Species

Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum) breast is washed with buff and is unstreaked.

Lincoln’s Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) has a buff jaw line; a buff breast, sides, and flanks; and no yellow lores.

Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus) has a chestnut shoulder patch, a longet tail, white outer tail feathers, a bold white eye ring, and no yellow lores.


Food

In the summer, insects and spiders. In the winter, seeds.

 
Nesting

 

 
Migration

Early April to late October


Comments

Taxonomy
There are currently seventeen subspecies of Passerculus sandwichensis recognized (and one doubtful subspecies). Many of the subspecies represent clines, or gradients, of a single morphological feature, such as bill size, overall size, reddish coloration, and darkness of plumage, but many or even most individuals are intermediate. It is likely that at some future date this species will be separated into up to four species. In 2008, a proposal to do just that was voted on by the American Ornithologist’s Union. The proposal did not pass.


Taxonomy

Order:

Passeriformes

 

Superfamily:

Passeroidea

 

Family:

Fringillidae (finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers)

 

Supertribe:

Emberizinae

 

Tribe:

Emberizini

 
Subordinate Taxa

Savannah Sparrow Proper Group

Aleutian Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis sandwichensis)

Dwarf Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis brooksi)

Eastern Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis savanna)

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis alaudinus)

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis anthinus)

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis brunnescens)

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis labradorius)

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis nevadensis)

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis oblitus)

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis wetmorei) (doubtful subspecies)

 

Ipswich Sparrow Group

Ipswich Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis princeps)

 

Large-billed Sparrow Group

Large-billed Sparrows Proper

Large-billed Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis atratus)

Large-billed Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis rostratus)

 

Belding’s Large-billed Sparrow

Belding’s Large-billed Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis anulus)

Belding’s Large-billed Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis beldingi)

Belding’s Large-billed Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis guttatus)

Belding’s Large-billed Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis magdalenae)

 

San Benito Large-billed Sparrow

San Benito Large-billed Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis sanctorum)

 
Synonyms

Ammodramus sandwichensis


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

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  Savannah Sparrow
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Savannah Sparrow  
     
  "Eastern" Savannah Sparrow
JMC Nature Photos
 
  "Eastern" Savannah Sparrow  
     
  Savannah Sparrows
crossarthur76
 
  Savannah Sparrows  

 

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  Savannah Sparrow Singing
Scott Carpenter
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Apr 23, 2011

Ridgefield NWR, Clark County, Washington, USA

 
     
  Savannah Sparrow's Song
Dean Martin
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 3, 2014

Description

 
     
  Savannah Sparrow (Emberizidae: Passerculus sandwichensis) Female Scolding
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
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Uploaded on Jul 6, 2009

Photographed at East Grand Forks, Minnesota (06 July 2009).

 
     
  Savannah Sparrow Portrait
eBirdr Channel
 
   
 
About

Published on May 29, 2012

The Savannah Sparrow is common throughout North America in large fields with short or sparse grass, marshes.

It has a short notched tail, light eyebrow and dark whisker stripes, pink legs and feet. Some are quite dark with extensive side and breast streaking, sometimes with a central spot. Some are light with faint streaking. Pale form known as "Ipswich Sparrow" and breeds on Sable Island, Nova Scotia.

The song is a "slip, slip, slip it in easy" with a distinctive "seep" flight call.

 
     
  Savannah Sparrow
Eric Preston
 
   
 
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Published on Jun 26, 2013

Savannah Sparrow, The Prairie Enthusiasts' Mounds View Grassland, Iowa County, Wisconsin

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

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