Peucaea aestivalis - (Lichtenstein, 1823)
Bachman's Sparrow
Other English Common Names: Bachman's sparrow
Synonym(s): Aimophila aestivalis (Lichtenstein, 1823)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Aimophila aestivalis (Lichtenstein, 1823) (TSN 179386)
French Common Names: Bruant des pinčdes
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105170
Element Code: ABPBX91050
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Perching Birds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Passeriformes Passerellidae Peucaea
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Aimophila aestivalis
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly (e.g., AOU 1983, 1998) placed in the genus Aimophila, transferred to Peucaea by AOU (2010). AOU (1957) recognized three subspecies (bachmani, aestivalis, and illinoensis), but most literature does not differentiate among them.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 14Sep2007
Global Status Last Changed: 04Dec1996
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Significant recent contraction of northern edge of range; local reduction in abundance or local extinctions noted in center of range. Habitat specialist; can be severely affected by habitat modification.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3B,N3N (05Jan1997)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S3), Arkansas (S3B), District of Columbia (SXB), Florida (S3), Georgia (S2), Illinois (SXB,SHN), Indiana (SXB), Kentucky (S1B), Louisiana (S3), Maryland (SHB), Mississippi (S3B,S3S4N), Missouri (S1), North Carolina (S3B,S2N), Ohio (SX), Oklahoma (S2?), Pennsylvania (SX), South Carolina (S3), Tennessee (S1B), Texas (S3B), Virginia (S1B), West Virginia (SHB)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: NT - Near threatened

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: (at least formerly) from southern Missouri, Illinois, central Indiana, central Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, and Maryland south to eastern Texas, Gulf Coast, and south-central Florida. Now absent or local in the northeastern breeding range, where now breeds only in southern Virginia and possibly West Virginia and western Virginia; extirpated from Pennsylvania and Maryland (USFWS 1987, LeGrand and Schneider 1992). In the southeastern U.S., fairly common, but local, in the outer Coastal Plain; uncommon in the inner Coastal Plain; rare in the Piedmont (Hamel 1992). See LeGrand and Schneider (1992) for information on status in particular states in the northeastern U.S. See Bohlen (1978), Bowles (1981), and Hands et al. (1989) for information on status in the north-central U.S. NON-BREEDING: southeastern U.S., north to eastern Texas, Gulf states, and southeastern North Carolina. Apparently fairly common in the outer Coastal Plain, uncommon in the inner Coastal Plain, but actual abundance poorly known (Hamel 1992).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Widely distributed but local. Apparently expanded its range early in the 20th Century in response to available old field habitats; recent contraction of range may be partially due to reduced availability of that habitat.

Population Size: 2500 - 10,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Once a common inhabitant of southern pine forests, now very local. In S. Carolina, maximum density of about 0.41 to 0.48 birds per hectare in suitable habitat (mature forest and clearcuts; Dunning and Watts 1990, cited in Dunning 1993). Suitable habitat unoccupied especially when found in isolated patches. Number of birds per BBS route highest in Louisiana (1.05), Florida (3.07), and Mississippi (1.22) (Dunning 1993).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: HABITAT LOSS: Conversion of longleaf pine stands to plantations of fast-growing pines, shortage of newly abandoned farmland, and urbanization apparently are important factors in the population decline (Dunning 1993). At least 90% of original habitat (mature pine forests in South) has been severely altered by conversion of natural forest to pine plantation or other forms of alternative land use. Isolated patches of habitat are less likely to support populations. Negatively affected by fire suppression which increases understory and its shrubby components. Also affected by harvest rotations that maintain unsuitable timber age classes (i.e. 15-70 years old). PARASITISM: Infrequently parasitized by brown-headed cowbirds (MOLOTHRUS ATER). Only three percent of eggs removed and replaced by cowbird eggs in one study (Haggerty 1988 cited in Dunning 1993). COMPETITION: Some have suggested that the field sparrow (SPIZELLA PUSILLA) may have a competitory impact, but this is not supported by any evidence (Dunning 1993). PREDATION: Nestlings and eggs eaten by snakes or mammals but no records of adult mortality (Dunning 1993). Nestling mortality in one study due to unknown predators (78 percent), starvation or disease (9 percent), snake predation (6 percent), or mammal predation (4 percent; Haggerty 1988, cited in Dunning 1993).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: Range expanded at the beginning of the 20th century and reached northern limits in northern Illinois, central Ohio, and southwestern Pennsylvania. Population probably expanded in the North when farms were largely abandoned. Population declined, especially in North, since 1930 (see Dunning and Watts 1990) probably in response to forest succession. Numbers increased in south during same period probably as habitat became more available following timber harvests. BBS data have show decreases. Decreasing in Georgia 1966-1996 (-7.1; N = 30; P less than 0.00); no increases noted for the same period. Non-significant decreases in Florida (1966-1996) and Louisiana (1966-1979 and 1980-1996; Sauer et al. 1997). Rangewide, BBS data show no trend from 1980-2002 (Sauer et al. 2003). Gradual decreasing trend seen with mapped Christmas Bird Count Data 1959-1988 (Sauer et al. 1996).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Few states within the range of this species have conducted thorough surveys. Breeding bird atlas programs should provide general range information, and increased Breeding Bird Survey coverage in potential habitats could provide much needed trend data.

Protection Needs: Core areas of open, mature pine forest should be protected to provide for colonization of ephemeral habitats created by clearcutting and old field succession. Both breeding and wintering habitats need to be protected.

Distribution
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Global Range: (20,000-2,500,000 square km (about 8000-1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: (at least formerly) from southern Missouri, Illinois, central Indiana, central Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania, and Maryland south to eastern Texas, Gulf Coast, and south-central Florida. Now absent or local in the northeastern breeding range, where now breeds only in southern Virginia and possibly West Virginia and western Virginia; extirpated from Pennsylvania and Maryland (USFWS 1987, LeGrand and Schneider 1992). In the southeastern U.S., fairly common, but local, in the outer Coastal Plain; uncommon in the inner Coastal Plain; rare in the Piedmont (Hamel 1992). See LeGrand and Schneider (1992) for information on status in particular states in the northeastern U.S. See Bohlen (1978), Bowles (1981), and Hands et al. (1989) for information on status in the north-central U.S. NON-BREEDING: southeastern U.S., north to eastern Texas, Gulf states, and southeastern North Carolina. Apparently fairly common in the outer Coastal Plain, uncommon in the inner Coastal Plain, but actual abundance poorly known (Hamel 1992).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, DCextirpated, FL, GA, ILextirpated, INextirpated, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, OHextirpated, OK, PAextirpated, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AL Baldwin (01003), Jackson (01071)*, Mobile (01097)
FL Alachua (12001), Brevard (12009), Charlotte (12015), Citrus (12017), Clay (12019), Columbia (12023), Duval (12031), Franklin (12037), Gadsden (12039), Gilchrist (12041), Glades (12043), Hamilton (12047), Highlands (12055), Lake (12069), Levy (12075), Liberty (12077), Manatee (12081), Marion (12083), Martin (12085), Nassau (12089), Okaloosa (12091), Okeechobee (12093), Orange (12095), Osceola (12097), Palm Beach (12099), Pasco (12101), Polk (12105), Putnam (12107), Santa Rosa (12113), Sarasota (12115), Suwannee (12121), Volusia (12127), Wakulla (12129), Walton (12131)
GA Walker (13295)*
IN Bartholomew (18005)*, Brown (18013)*, Clark (18019)*, Clay (18021)*, Crawford (18025)*, Fayette (18041)*, Franklin (18047)*, Harrison (18061)*, Jackson (18071)*, Jefferson (18077)*, Johnson (18081)*, Knox (18083)*, Marion (18097)*, Owen (18119)*, Parke (18121)*, Pulaski (18131)*, Putnam (18133)*, Ripley (18137)*, Scott (18143)*, Tippecanoe (18157)*, Washington (18175)*
KY Barren (21009)*, Bell (21013)*, Boone (21015)*, Boyle (21021)*, Butler (21031)*, Caldwell (21033)*, Calloway (21035)*, Carlisle (21039)*, Casey (21045)*, Christian (21047)*, Clay (21051)*, Crittenden (21055)*, Edmonson (21061)*, Fulton (21075)*, Graves (21083)*, Hardin (21093)*, Harlan (21095)*, Hart (21099)*, Henderson (21101)*, Henry (21103), Hickman (21105)*, Hopkins (21107)*, Jackson (21109)*, Jefferson (21111)*, Kenton (21117)*, Knox (21121)*, Laurel (21125)*, Lincoln (21137)*, Logan (21141)*, Madison (21151)*, McCracken (21145)*, McCreary (21147)*, McLean (21149)*, Meade (21163)*, Mercer (21167)*, Muhlenberg (21177)*, Nelson (21179)*, Oldham (21185)*, Owen (21187)*, Pike (21195)*, Pulaski (21199)*, Rockcastle (21203)*, Russell (21207)*, Simpson (21213)*, Taylor (21217)*, Todd (21219)*, Trigg (21221), Union (21225)*, Warren (21227)*, Washington (21229)*, Wayne (21231)*, Webster (21233)*, Whitley (21235)*
LA Allen (22003), Beauregard (22011), Bienville (22013), Bossier (22015), Caddo (22017), Calcasieu (22019), Claiborne (22027), Evangeline (22039), Grant (22043), Jackson (22049), Livingston (22063), Natchitoches (22069), Rapides (22079), Sabine (22085), St. Tammany (22103), Tangipahoa (22105), Vernon (22115), Washington (22117), Webster (22119), Winn (22127)
MD Allegany (24001)*, Anne Arundel (24003)*, Garrett (24023)*, Montgomery (24031)*, Prince Georges (24033)*
MO Barry (29009)*, Iron (29093), Madison (29123), Oregon (29149), Ozark (29153), Taney (29213), Texas (29215)
MS Alcorn (28003)*, Benton (28009)*, Calhoun (28013)*, Carroll (28015)*, Chickasaw (28017)*, Clay (28025)*, Forrest (28035), George (28039), Hancock (28045), Harrison (28047), Jackson (28059), Jones (28067)*, Kemper (28069)*, Lafayette (28071)*, Lamar (28073), Lee (28081)*, Marion (28091), Neshoba (28099)*, Oktibbeha (28105), Perry (28111), Rankin (28121)*, Stone (28131), Tishomingo (28141)*, Union (28145)*, Winston (28159)*, Yalobusha (28161)*
NC Bladen (37017), Brunswick (37019), Buncombe (37021)*, Carteret (37031), Chatham (37037), Columbus (37047), Craven (37049), Cumberland (37051), Halifax (37083), Harnett (37085), Hoke (37093), Jones (37103), Moore (37125), Onslow (37133), Pender (37141), Richmond (37153), Robeson (37155)*, Sampson (37163), Scotland (37165), Wake (37183)*, Warren (37185)*
OH Lucas (39095)*
OK Atoka (40005), Cherokee (40021), Creek (40037), Delaware (40041), Haskell (40061), Kay (40071)*, Latimer (40077), LeFlore (40079), Lincoln (40081), McCurtain (40089), Noble (40103)*, Okfuskee (40107), Okmulgee (40111), Osage (40113)*, Pawnee (40117), Payne (40119), Pittsburg (40121)*, Pontotoc (40123)*, Pushmataha (40127), Sequoyah (40135), Tulsa (40143), Wagoner (40145), Washington (40147)*
PA Greene (42059)*, Washington (42125)*
SC Charleston (45019), Georgetown (45043), Jasper (45053)
TN Cumberland (47035), Davidson (47037)*, Fayette (47047)*, Franklin (47051), Hamilton (47065), Henderson (47077)*, Lawrence (47099), McNairy (47109), Montgomery (47125)*, Obion (47131)*, Putnam (47141), Rhea (47143)*, Roane (47145)*
TX Anderson (48001), Angelina (48005), Jasper (48241), Newton (48351), Sabine (48403)
VA Brunswick (51025)*, Caroline (51033)*, Dinwiddie (51053), Greensville (51081)*, Nottoway (51135), Sussex (51183)
WV Kanawha (54039)*, Wayne (54099)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Patuxent (02060006)+*, Cacapon-Town (02070003)+*, Middle Potomac-Catoctin (02070008)+*, Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan (02070010)+*, Lower Rappahannock (02080104)+*, Mattaponi (02080105)+*
03 Roanoke Rapids (03010106)+*, Nottoway (03010201)+, Meheriin (03010204)+*, Fishing (03020102)+, Upper Neuse (03020201)+*, Lower Neuse (03020204)+, White Oak River (03020301)+, New River (03020302)+, Haw (03030002)+, Deep (03030003)+*, Upper Cape Fear (03030004)+, Lower Cape Fear (03030005)+, Black (03030006)+, Northeast Cape Fear (03030007)+, Lower Pee Dee (03040201)+, Lumber (03040203)+, Little Pee Dee (03040204)+, Waccamaw (03040206)+, Carolina Coastal-Sampit (03040207)+, Coastal Carolina (03040208)+, Cooper (03050201)+, Upper Savannah (03060103)+, Broad (03060104)+, Little (03060105)+, Middle Savannah (03060106)+, Lower Savannah (03060109)+, Upper Ogeechee (03060201)+, Lower Ogeechee (03060202)+, Canoochee (03060203)+, Ogeechee Coastal (03060204)+, Upper Oconee (03070101)+, Lower Oconee (03070102)+, Upper Ocmulgee (03070103)+, Altamaha (03070106)+, Ohoopee (03070107)+, St. Marys (03070204)+, Upper St. Johns (03080101)+, Oklawaha (03080102)+, Lower St. Johns (03080103)+, Daytona - St. Augustine (03080201)+, Kissimmee (03090101)+, Western Okeechobee Inflow (03090103)+, Lake Okeechobee (03090201)+, Caloosahatchee (03090205)+, Florida Southeast Coast (03090206)+, Peace (03100101)+, Myakka (03100102)+, Manatee (03100202)+, Crystal-Pithlachascotee (03100207)+, Withlacoochee (03100208)+, Waccasassa (03110101)+, Aucilla (03110103)+, Upper Suwannee (03110201)+, Alapaha (03110202)+, withlacoochee (03110203)+, Little (03110204)+, Lower Suwannee (03110205)+, Santa Fe (03110206)+, Apalachee Bay-St. Marks (03120001)+, Upper Ochlockonee (03120002)+, Middle Chattahoochee-Lake Harding (03130002)+*, Middle Chattahoochee-Walter F. George Reservoir (03130003)+, Upper Flint (03130005)+, Lower Flint (03130008)+, Apalachicola (03130011)+, New (03130013)+, Choctawhatchee Bay (03140102)+, Yellow (03140103)+, Blackwater (03140104)+, Pensacola Bay (03140105)+, Etowah (03150104)+, Upper Coosa (03150105)+, Town (03160102)+*, Tibbee (03160104)+, Mobile - Tensaw (03160204)+, Lower Leaf (03170005)+, Pascagoula (03170006)+, Black (03170007)+, Escatawpa (03170008)+, Mississippi Coastal (03170009)+, Upper Pearl (03180001)+*, Middle Pearl-Strong (03180002)+*, Lower Pearl. Mississippi (03180004)+, Bogue Chitto (03180005)+
04 Lower Maumee (04100009)+*
05 Lower Monongahela (05020005)+*, Youghiogheny (05020006)+*, Upper Ohio (05030101)+*, Upper Kanawha (05050006)+*, Elk (05050007)+*, Lower Kanawha (05050008)+*, Tug (05070201)+*, Upper Levisa (05070202)+*, Big Sandy (05070204)+*, Whitewater (05080003)+*, Middle Ohio-Laughery (05090203)+*, Licking (05100101)+*, South Fork Kentucky (05100203)+*, Upper Kentucky (05100204)+*, Lower Kentucky (05100205)+, Upper Green (05110001)+*, Barren (05110002)+*, Middle Green (05110003)+*, Rough (05110004)+*, Lower Green (05110005)+*, Pond (05110006)+*, Tippecanoe (05120106)+*, Middle Wabash-Little Vermilion (05120108)+*, Sugar (05120110)+*, Middle Wabash-Busseron (05120111)+*, Upper White (05120201)+*, Lower White (05120202)+*, Eel (05120203)+*, Driftwood (05120204)+*, Upper East Fork White (05120206)+*, Muscatatuck (05120207)+*, Lower East Fork White (05120208)+*, Upper Cumberland (05130101)+*, Rockcastle (05130102)+*, Upper Cumberland-Lake Cumberland (05130103)+*, South Fork Cumberland (05130104)+*, Caney (05130108)+, Lower Cumberland-Sycamore (05130202)+*, Lower Cumberland (05130205)+, Red (05130206)+*, Silver-Little Kentucky (05140101)+, Salt (05140102)+*, Rolling Fork (05140103)+*, Blue-Sinking (05140104)+*, Highland-Pigeon (05140202)+*, Lower Ohio-Bay (05140203)+*, Saline (05140204)+*, Tradewater (05140205)+*, Lower Ohio (05140206)+*
06 Upper French Broad (06010105)+*, Watts Bar Lake (06010201)+, Powell (06010206)+*, Lower Clinch (06010207)+*, Emory (06010208)+*, Middle Tennessee-Chickamauga (06020001)+, Guntersville Lake (06030001)+*, Upper Elk (06030003)+, Pickwick Lake (06030005)+, Lower Tennessee-Beech (06040001)+, Kentucky Lake (06040005)+*, Lower Tennessee (06040006)+*
08 Lower Mississippi-Memphis (08010100)+*, Bayou De Chien-Mayfield (08010201)+*, Obion (08010202)+*, North Fork Forked Deer (08010204)+*, Upper Hatchie (08010207)+, Wolf (08010210)+*, Upper St. Francis (08020202)+, Little Tallahatchie (08030201)+*, Yocona (08030203)+*, Bayou D'arbonne (08040206)+, Lower Red (08040301)+, Dugdemona (08040303)+, Little (08040304)+, Upper Big Black (08060201)+*, Tickfaw (08070203)+, Tangipahoa (08070205)+, Bayou Teche (08080102)+, Mermentau Headwaters (08080201)+, Upper Calcasieu (08080203)+, Whisky Chitto (08080204)+, West Fork Calcasieu (08080205)+, Lower Calcasieu (08080206)+, Liberty Bayou-Tchefuncta (08090201)+
11 Beaver Reservoir (11010001)+*, James (11010002)+*, Bull Shoals Lake (11010003)+, North Fork White (11010006)+, Current (11010008)+, Eleven Point (11010011)+, Lower Cimarron (11050003)+, Kaw Lake (11060001)+*, Lower Salt Fork Arkansas (11060004)+*, Black Bear-Red Rock (11060006)+*, Caney (11070106)+*, Bird (11070107)+*, Lower Neosho (11070209)+, Lower Canadian-Walnut (11090202)+*, Lower Canadian (11090204)+*, Deep Fork (11100303)+, Polecat-Snake (11110101)+, Robert S. Kerr Reservoir (11110104)+, Poteau (11110105)+, Muddy Boggy (11140103)+, Kiamichi (11140105)+, Pecan-Waterhole (11140106)+*, Upper Little (11140107)+, Mountain Fork (11140108)+, Lower Little (11140109)+*, Middle Red-Coushatta (11140202)+, Loggy Bayou (11140203)+, Red Chute (11140204)+, Bodcau Bayou (11140205)+, Bayou Pierre (11140206)+, Lower Red-Lake Iatt (11140207)+, Saline Bayou (11140208)+, Black Lake Bayou (11140209)+
12 Toledo Bend Reservoir (12010004)+, Lower Sabine (12010005)+, Lower Neches (12020003)+, Lower Angelina (12020005)+, Lower Trinity-Tehuacana (12030201)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A large (15-cm-long) secretive sparrow with a large bill and a long, dark, rounded tail.
General Description: A large sparrow with a large bill, fairly flat forehead, long dark rounded tail, gray upperparts heavily streaked with chestnut or dark brown, buffy-gray sides of head, a broad grayish-buff superciliary stripe, a thin dark russet line extending back from the eye, buff or gray sides and breast, and whitish belly (NGS 1983). More reddish in the western part of the range, grayer and darker in the south (NGS 1983). Juvenile has a distinct eye ring and streaked throat, breast, and sides; some of the streaking is retained in the first winter (NGS 1983). See Oberholser (1974) and Wolf (1977) for further details. Overall length is about 14-16 cm. Eggs are entirely white and average 19.3 mm by 15.3 mm.

Song is a highly variable combination of whistles and trills on different pitches, sung from a low perch.

When disturbed, often runs through the grass for several feet before flushing.

Diagnostic Characteristics: Differs from the field sparrow (SPIZELLA PUSILLA) by being larger and having a larger bill that is not pink. Tail is much longer than that of the grasshopper sparrow (AMMODRAMUS SAVANNARUM). Young in summer resemble Lincoln's sparrow (MELOSPIZA LINCOLNII), but the latter does not occur in the south in summer.
Reproduction Comments: In the southeastern U.S., may begin singing as early as mid-February, two months before breeding (Burleigh 1958, Sprunt and Chamberlain 1970). Eggs are laid from late April through July or August (mostly May-June), with the earliest nests in the south (Burleigh 1958, Oberholser 1974, Bent 1968). Clutch size 3-5, typically 4. Often two, sometimes 3 broods per year (Sprunt and Chamberlain 1970). Incubation, by the female, lasts 12-14 days. Young are tended by both parents (Brooks 1938), leave nest at about 9-10 days while unable to fly, continue to be fed by parents for about 25 days, during which time the female may initiate another nest and the male may assume most of the feeding responsibilities. Generally, adults do not fly directly to or from the nest (walk to or from it after landing or before flying). Nest failures seem to result mainly from predation (e.g., by crows or snakes); some reproductive failure or reduction may occur as a result of nest parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (MOLOTHRUS ATER) (Bent 1968, Hardin and Probasco 1983, Haggerty 1988).
Ecology Comments: Breeding territory was 0.3-1.3 ha (average 0.62 ha) over one breeding cycle in southern Missouri (Hardin et al. 1982), 2.49 ha over the entire breeding season in Arkansas (see LeGrand and Schneider 1992). In Missouri, distances between boundaries of adjacent territories were 65-100 m.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Migratory north of southeastern North Carolina, resident elsewhere. Arrives in northern part of nesting range mainly from mid-March through April or early May, departs mainly mid-August and September, though some remain as late as October.
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Old field, Savanna, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood
Habitat Comments: Habitat specialist. Historically, found in mature to old growth southern pine woodland subject to frequent growing-season fires; a fugitive species, breeding wherever fires created suitable conditions. Requires well-developed grass and herb layer with limited shrub and hardwood midstory components. Ideal habitat was originally the extensive longleaf pine woodlands of the south. Able to colonize recent clearcuts and early seral stages of old field succession but such habitat remains suitable only for a short time. Habitats include dry open pine (southern states) or oak woods (e.g., western portion of range) with an undercover of grasses and shrubs, hillsides with patchy brushy areas, overgrown fields with thickets and brambles, grassy orchards, and large clear-cuts (usually at least 20 ha in Virginia). In the southeastern U.S., Coastal Plain breeding habitat usually is open pine woods with thick cover of grasses or saw palmetto; in the Piedmont, mainly in overgrown fields with scattered saplings, occasionally in open woods with thick grass cover (Hamel 1992). Very occasionally breeds along the edges of wheat or corn fields (Blincoe 1921, Graber and Graber 1963, Mengel 1965).

In South Carolina, higher densities were recorded in mature (more than 80 years old) pine stands than in young stands (Dunning and Watts 1990).

In northwestern Florida, inhabited a longleaf pine stand during the first three years after annual spring fires were discontinued; canopy cover was 43% and ground cover was 85%. Five years after the burns stopped canopy cover increased to 91%, ground cover decreased to 21%, and breeding no longer occurred (Engstrom et al. 1984).

In Missouri, breeding areas include red-cedar groves of limestone glades where woody plants constitute less than 33% of the plant cover (Probasco 1978), early succession shrub and grass old fields, shrub and grass savanna, oak-hickory stands cut within the past three years, and stands of shortleaf pines with diameters of less than 7.6 cm (Evans and Kirkman 1981, Hardin et al. 1982). Within 13 territories in limestone glades, shrubs had an average cover of 4.1% and tree cover averaged 2.3% (Hardin et al. 1982). See also Hardin and Probasco (1983).

In the southern states, singing perches generally are on the dead lower branches or stubs of living pine trees (LeGrand and Schneider 1992).

Winters mainly in habitats with dense grassy cover, mostly under open pine woods, also in grassy fields, such as broomsedge (Hamel 1992), scrub oak, and along fence rows; has been recorded in riparian habitats and sometimes along the saltwater shores of coastal woodlands (Burleigh 1958, Bent 1968, Sprunt and Chamberlain 1970, LeGrand and Schneider 1992).

Nests on the ground in dense cover, against/under grass tuft or under low shrub (Harrison 1978), in grassy opening, field, or area with scattered trees. Open, domed nests are built by the female and consist of coarse dry grasses and weed stems lined with finer materials (Blincoe 1921, Ganier 1921, Brooks 1938). Six nests in Alabama were 18-20 cm high and 11.4 cm wide, with a smaller inner cavity (Weston, in Bent 1968).

Adult Food Habits: Granivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Granivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats insects, other invertebrates, and seeds of herbaceous plants and pines (Meanley 1959, Sprunt and Chamberlain 1970, Oberholser 1974, Allaire and Fisher 1975, Imhoff 1976); insect portion of diet is relatively low in winter, increases in warmer months; forages on the ground and in dense grass, palmettos, or shrubs (Hamel 1992). Nestlings are fed insects (Meanley 1959).
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 15 centimeters
Weight: 20 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: The primary management concern for this declining species is the provision of adequate habitat, which is ephemeral and often declines as a result of natural vegetation succession. In the absence of naturally occurring fires, active management (prescribed burning, clearcutting) generally is needed. Single areas generally cannot provide continuously favorable habitat, so successful management in a region generally will require the provision of a mosaic of sites in different stages of vegetation succession.
Species Impacts: Not known to detrimentally impact any rare, threatened, or endangered species.
Restoration Potential: Has a moderate restoration/management potential. Probably little can be done to encourage farmers or landowners to abandon farmland for the bird's benefit. On the other hand, it seems likely that active management through clearcutting and controlled burns could easily create suitable habitat, although the proximity of existing populations to manageable sites is also an important consideration. At first, restoration to suitable habitats may require reintroduction. When the dispersal ability of this species is more clearly understood, it may be possible to design a network of managed areas that could be occupied through natural dispersal and colonization. The foregoing is from LeGrand and Schneider (1992).
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Because this species often inhabits early successional habitats that are human-modified and created, it is questionable whether land protection through acquisition is a suitable or feasible method of protection. Normally, agencies are involved in the acquisition of naturally occurring, climax habitats and natural communities, such as pine savannas, prairies, cedar glades, and mature hardwood forests. The acquisition of sites that require ongoing management to ensure the continued existence of rare species involves a long-term financial commitment that many agencies are unwilling or unable to make. Therefore, the identification and protection of Bachman's sparrows on sites that can be maintained through natural processes should be the first priority. However, in the absence of fire, it seems likely that few if any such sites remain, especially in the northeastern part of the range and perhaps rangewide.

The second priority should be protection on sites where existing management practices easily can be modified to accommodate the birds' needs for nesting habitat. Some timber lands and agricultural settings may provide management opportunities that could benefit the sparrows and remain cost-effective. Such areas managed in this way should provide a minimum of 75 ha of suitable habitat in any one breeding season. Size and shape also are important. Managed areas should be somewhat square or circular, rather than long and narrow, because powerline clearings or other narrrow clearings do not seem to be suitable.

The foregoing is from LeGrand and Schneider (1992).

Management Requirements: Can be managed through the use of controlled burns. Timber management practices that produce suitable habitat for red-cockaded woodpeckers (PICOIDES BOREALIS) generally provide habitat for Bachman's sparrows (Dunning and Watts 1990). At Francis Marion National Forest in South Carolina, where red-cockaded woodpeckers were common prior to Hurricane Hugo in September 1989, forest compartments are burned on a 3-5 year rotation schedule. This burning schedule produces a dense ground layer of bracken fern (PTERIDIUM AQUILINUM), grasses, and blueberries (VACCINIUM spp.), and an open understory. However, red-cockaded woodpeckers will inhabit pine stands with hardwood midstories and no grasses whereas Bachman's sparrows will not (Plentovich et al. 1998). Research in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Florida has shown that a three-year burn schedule yields the highest density of sparrows (Johnson and Landers 1982, Dunning and Watts 1990, Gobris 1992, Shriver and Vickery 2001, Tucker et al. 2005). Timing of burn (growing versus dormant season) does not appear to affect sparrow abundance or reproductive success (King et al. 1998, Tucker 2002, Tucker et al. 2005).

Where management of fire-adapted forests through the use of controlled burns is not possible, it may be feasible to manage the habitat through the use of clearcutting. Management should encourage clearcutting instead of selective cutting (though the latter may be suitable to maintain an open structure in some oak savannas and open pine woods). However, a clearcut, without burning of the tract following timber removal, might not provide suitable grass cover needed for foraging and nest placement. Thus, burning of a tract should follow cutting to ensure a dense grass cover. At present, many or most clearcuts apparently are not burned following timber harvest, and the cleared areas are left with a stubble of shrubs and other woody vegetation. Burning of clearcuts is favorable because fire kills or retards such woody and hardwood "stubble." Most importantly, burning stimulates the growth of grasses and forbs, features the sparrow requires in its habitat. Such habitat can remain suitable for Bachman's sparrows for 5-10 years, though it may take 1-2 years after clearing (with or without fire) for a dense cover of grasses to become established. After about 10 years, increasing sapling density may render the areas unsuitable for the sparrow (Dunning and Watts 1990). There is an important need to educate the public about the values of clearcutting in certain situations.

In the absence of a short burning rotation, both mature stands and clearcuts quickly become unsuitable for nesting. Therefore, until we have better understanding of the dispersal abilities of Bachman's sparrow, it is important to provide suitable habitat near those that undergo succession and become too overgrown for the birds.

Dunning and Watts (1990) found evidence that a site preparation technique called drumchopping reduces the suitability of clearcuts for Bachman's sparrows. Drumchopping is used by foresters to reduce the amount of above-ground vegetation and debris before planting. Dunning and Watts found that drumchopping resulted in low dense shrubs. Clearcuts that were not drumchopped had tall shrubs and standing dead timber that provided exposed song perches. Foresters and managers of public lands need to be informed of the detrimental effects of drumchopping clearcuts and the beneficial effects of burning.

It may be possible, though not necessarily practical, to manage habitat without burning. Dunning and Watts (1990) found that an infrequently burned mature pine stand was occupied by Bachman's sparrows when an open understory was maintained by the cutting of saplings and girdling of older deciduous trees.

Grazing probably is not a useful management tool because it results in the loss or reduction of a thick grass cover.

The foregoing is from LeGrand and Schneider (1992).

Little information is available on methods for maintaining old fields in suitable condition for Bachman's sparrow. In Ohio, Brooks (1938) noted that fields that had not been cultivated for at least four years were used by this species.

Spatial configuration of managed forests is important because Bachman's sparrows apparently do not disperse well. Suitable habitat isolated from existing populations may not become occupied (Dunning et al. 2000). However, patch size does not seem to be very important. In a study in South Carolina, Bachman's sparrows occupied patches from 3-57 ha (Krementz and Christie 2000).

Monitoring Requirements: Annual monitoring is appropriate in areas where the species is known or believed to be declining. Easily detected by song. Surveys should be done in the morning hours, from late April into June. Singing declines after late June, though surveys in July or August might not be fruitless. A tape-recording of the song played at dusk sometimes elicits a response at suitable habitat where no birds initially were heard (T. Haggerty, pers. comm.).

Attempting to find the birds in fields by walking to flush silent individuals is both labor-intensive and inefficient. On the other hand, once singing birds are located, it is worthwhile to search for nests to monitor the fate of the nest and nestlings [though this could result in increased nest predation if predators are led to the nest through human scent or activities]. Nests are most easily located by watching the behavior of adult birds during nest building or feeding of the young (Haggerty 1988). Occupied sites should be monitored annually to determine the number of singing males, estimate annual productivity, and, if possible, assess the magnitude of nest predation and cowbird parasitism. Most existing general monitoring programs, such as the Breeding Bird Survey and Christmas Bird Count, do not provide adequate, statistically meaningful data on Bachman's sparrow or other scarce species. Projects such as breeding bird atlases are especially useful in locating new sites for early-successional species such as the Bachman's sparrow. However, in the northeastern portion of the range, the species is so uncommon that observers often are unfamiliar with the song. This increases the likelihood that the bird may be overlooked.

Most of the foregoing is from LeGrand and Schneider (1992).

Recently Conner (2002) developed an effective method to predict Bachman's sparrow habitat based on satellite imagery.

Management Research Needs: Determine relationship between population size (number of singing males) and vegetation succession. Determine whether management can create a mosaic of adjacent sites that together provide continuously occupied habitat. Obtain more information on winter habitat needs.
Biological Research Needs: Determine reasons for population declines. Determine reproductive success and population dynamics in different habitat types. Determine nest-site and mate fidelity of adults and philopatry of young. Determine structure and composition of seasonally occupied habitats. Determine impacts of predation and cowbird parasitism.
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Passerines

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Nest Site, Nesting Colony
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.

Mapping Guidance: Breeding occurrences include nesting areas as well as foraging areas.

For swallows and other species that have separate nesting and foraging areas, separations are based on nest sites or nesting areas, not to locations of foraging individuals. For example, nesting areas separated by a gap larger than the separation distance are different occurrences, regardless of the foraging locations of individuals from those nesting areas. This separation procedure is appropriate because nesting areas are the critical aspect of swallow breeding occurrences, tend to be relatively stable or at least somwhat predictable in general location, and so are the basis for effective conservation; foraging areas are much more flexible and not necessarily static.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Significant dispersal and associated high potential for gene flow among populations of birds separated by tens of kilometers (e.g., Moore and Dolbeer 1989), and increasing evidence that individuals leave their usual home range to engage in extrapair copulations, as well as long foraging excursions of some species, make it difficult to circumscribe occurrences on the basis of meaningful population units without occurrences becoming too large. Hence, a moderate, standardized separation distance has been adopted for songbirds and flycatchers; it should yield occurrences that are not too spatially expansive while also accounting for the likelihood of gene flow among populations within a few kilometers of each other.

Be careful not to separate a population's nesting areas and foraging areas as different occurrences; include them in the same occurrence even if they are more than 5 km apart. Mean foraging radius (from nesting area) of Brown-headed Cowbird females was 4.0 kilometers in California, 1.2 kilometers in Illinois-Missouri (Thompson 1994). Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Brewer's Blackbirds, and probably Red-winged Blackbirds all forage up to 1.6 kilometers away from breeding colony (Willson 1966, Horn 1968). In one study, Brewer's Blackbirds were found as far as 10 kilometers from nesting area (Williams 1952), but this may be unusual.

For swallows and other parrerines with similar behavioral ecology, separation distance pertains to nest sites or nesting colonies, not to locations of foraging individuals. For example, nesting areas separated by a gap of more than 5 km are different occurrences, regardless of the foraging locations of individuals from those nesting areas. This separation procedure is appropriate because nesting areas are the critical aspect of swallow breeding occurrences, tend to be relatively stable or at least somwhat predictable in general location, and so are the basis for effective conservation; foraging areas are much more flexible and not necessarily static.

Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.

Unsuitable habitat: Habitat not normally used for breeding/feeding by a particular species. For example, unsuitable habitat for grassland and shrubland birds includes forest/woodland, urban/suburban, and aquatic habitats. Most habitats would be suitable for birds with versatile foraging habits (e.g., most corvids).

Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Roost Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: For most passerines: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating individuals (including historical) and potential recurring presence at a given location; minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat.

For swallows: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating flocks (including historical) and potential recurring presence at a given location; minimally a reliable observation of 100 birds in appropriate habitat (e.g., traditional roost sites).

Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually.

EOs should not be described for species that are nomadic during nonbreeding season: e.g., Lark Bunting.

Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary but intended to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.

For swallows and other species with similar behavioral ecology, the separation distance pertains to communal roost sites rather than to foraging areas; the former tend to be more stable and specific over time than the latter.

Date: 03Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Roost Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Any area used traditionally in the nonbreeding season (used for populations that are not resident in a location year-round). Minimally, reliable observations of 10 or more individuals in appropriate habitat for 20 or more days at a time. For G1-G3 species, observations of fewer individuals could constitute an occurrence of conservation value. Sites used during migration should be documented under the 'migratory stopover' location use class.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance is necessarily arbitrary but attempts to balance the high mobility of birds with the need for occurrences of reasonable spatial scope. Note that a population's roost sites and foraging areas are parts of the same occurrence, even if they are more than 5 km apart.

For swallows and other species with similar behavioral ecology, the separation distance pertains to communal roost sites rather than to foraging areas; the former tend to be more stable and specific over time than the latter.

Date: 03Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.

Use Class: Nonmigratory
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a particular location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals in or near appropriate habitat.

These occurrence specifications are used for nonmigratory populations of passerine birds.

Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Significant dispersal and associated high potential for gene flow among populations of birds separated by tens of kilometers (e.g., Moore and Dolbeer 1989), and increasing evidence that individuals leave their usual home range to engage in extrapair copulations, as well as long foraging excursions of some species, make it difficult to circumscribe occurrences on the basis of meaningful population units without occurrences becoming too large. Hence, a moderate, standardized separation distance has been adopted for songbirds and flycatchers; it should yield occurrences that are not too spatially expansive while also accounting for the likelihood of gene flow among populations within a few kilometers of each other.

Be careful not to separate a population's nesting areas and breeding-season foraging areas as different occurrences; include them in the same occurrence even if they are more than 5 km apart. Blue jays have small summer home ranges but fly up to 4 kilometers to harvest mast (Tarvin and Woolfenden 1999). Flocks of pinyon jays range over 21-29 square kilometers (Ligon 1971, Balda and Bateman 1971); nesting and foraging areas may be widely separated. Tricolored blackbirds forage in flocks that range widely to more than 15 kilometers from the nesting colony (Beedy and Hamilton 1999).

Unsuitable habitat: Habitat not normally used for breeding/feeding by a particular species. For example, unsuitable habitat for grassland and shrubland birds includes forest/woodland, urban/suburban, and aquatic habitats. Most habitats would be suitable for birds with versatile foraging habits (e.g., most corvids).

Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Notes: These specs pertain to nonmigratory species.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 14Sep2007
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: MARTIN, R.; revised by G. HAMMERSON, M. KOENEN, and D.W. MEHLMAN. (1999-10-30); HAMMERSON (1996-12-04
), YOUNG (2007-09-14)

Management Information Edition Date: 14Sep2007
Management Information Edition Author: HAMMERSON, (1994-11-15), B. YOUNG (2007-09-14)
Management Information Acknowledgments: Most of the stewardship information here is based on a article by Harry E. LeGrand, Jr., and Kathryn J. Schneider (1992) and on a draft ESA completed by R. L. Henson.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 14Sep2007
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G. (1994-11-14); Young, B. (2007-09-14)

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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