Vesper Sparrow

(Pooecetes gramineus)

               
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 migrant and breeder

Habitat

Grassy areas with a shrubby border or scattered shrubs, and shrubby areas with grassy openings.

Size

6in length

10 wingspan


Identification

This sparrow has a small, chestnut-colored shoulder patch, streaked breast, white eye ring, and dark tail with white outer tail feathers visible in flight.

 
Voice

Two to four long notes of the same pitch followed by several slurred, shorter notes that are varied but lower in pitch than the long notes.

 
Similar
Species

Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus) also has white outer tail feathers. The breast is unmarked except for a large dark spot in the center.


Food

Grasshoppers, beetles, cutworms, and other invertebrates; and seeds

 
Nesting

 

 
Migration

Late March to mid-October


Comments

 


Taxonomy

Order:

Passeriformes

 

Superfamily:

Passeroidea

 

Family:

Fringillidae (finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers)

 

Supertribe:

Emberizinae

 

Tribe:

Emberizini

 
Subordinate Taxa

Eastern Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus gramineus)

Oregon Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus affinis )

Western Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus confinis)

 
Synonyms

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

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  Vesper Sparrow
Allen Chartier
 
  Vesper Sparrow  
     
  Vesper Sparrow
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Vesper Sparrow  
     
  Vesper Sparrow
JMC Nature Photos
 
  Vesper Sparrow  

 

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Other Videos

 
  Vesper Sparrow
WIld Bird Video Productions
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jul 26, 2011

Vesper Sparrow in Wyoming in July. ©JimZipp.com 2011

 
     
  Vesper Sparrow
eBirdr Channel
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 28, 2013

The Vesper Sparrow is fairly common throughout North America. It may be found in dry meadows, pastures, hay and grain fields, prairies, sagebrush, and along roadsides. It has a white eye ring and a dark ear patch. The streaked breast sometimes forms a central spot like the Song Sparrow's. It has a distinctive chestnut shoulder. In flight the white at the edge of short, slightly notched tail is conspicuous. The song may be heard as "here, here, where, where" followed by a downward trill; similar to Song Sparrow's with 2 longer slurred introductory notes. Also it has been described as "come, come, where, where, all together down the hill".

 
     
  Vesper Sparrow, Pooecetes gramineus
Rob Curtis
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 18, 2014

Vesper Sparrow, Pooecetes gramineus foraging.

 
     
  Prairie Life: Chestnut Shoulder...
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 26, 2014

A migrant Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus) poses prettily, exhibiting most of the visible phenotypic features of its species. Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (26 April 2014).

 
     
  Vesper Sparrow at Max Patch, NC
Carl Miller
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 23, 2013

This vesper sparrow had precious few perching options on top of the Max Patch bald in North Carolina. Just my luck, he chose the trail marker only a few feet from me and sang his heart out!

Editing note: There was some horrible wind noise on the source video from my Canon 7D that made it pretty hard to hear the bird song. I managed to use an audio equalizer in my video editor to mostly eliminate all of the low frequency wind noise (everything below 1700 Hz). The result is surprisingly clear!

 
     

 

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