Ammodramus savannarum - (Gmelin, 1789)
Grasshopper Sparrow
Other English Common Names: grasshopper sparrow
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Ammodramus savannarum (Gmelin, 1789) (TSN 179333)
French Common Names: bruant sauterelle
Spanish Common Names: Gorrión Chapulín
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100347
Element Code: ABPBXA0020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Perching Birds
Image 11212

© Larry Master

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Passeriformes Passerellidae Ammodramus
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: Ammodramus savannarum
Taxonomic Comments: See Zink and Avise (1990) for relationships within genus Ammodramus (based on analysis of mtDNA and allozymes); Ammodramus (sensu AOU 1983) possibly is not monophyletic; previous generic limits (AOU 1957) seem better to reflect phylogeny than current taxonomy.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 06Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 04Dec1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Large range, extending from southern Canada to northern South America; significant population declines in North America and probably elsewhere, due to loss, degradation, and incompatible management of grassland habitat.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4N5B,N4N5M (25Jan2018)

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), Arizona (S3), Arkansas (S3B), California (S3), Colorado (S3S4B), Connecticut (S1B), Delaware (S3B), District of Columbia (S3N), Florida (SNRN), Georgia (S4), Idaho (S3B), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S4B), Iowa (S4B,S4N), Kansas (S5B), Kentucky (S4B), Louisiana (S1B,S3N), Maine (S1B), Maryland (S4B), Massachusetts (S3B), Michigan (S4), Minnesota (SNRB), Mississippi (S3B,S3N), Missouri (S3S4), Montana (S4B), Navajo Nation (SNA), Nebraska (S4), Nevada (SU), New Hampshire (S2B), New Jersey (S2B,S3N), New Mexico (S3B,S3N), New York (S3B), North Carolina (S3B,S1N), North Dakota (SNRB), Ohio (S5), Oklahoma (S4B), Oregon (S2B), Pennsylvania (S4B), Rhode Island (S1B,S1N), South Carolina (SNRB,SNRN), South Dakota (S4B), Tennessee (S4), Texas (S3B), Utah (S2S3B), Vermont (S1B), Virginia (S4), Washington (S3B), West Virginia (S3B), Wisconsin (S2S3B), Wyoming (S4)
Canada Alberta (S3S4B), British Columbia (S1B), Manitoba (S2B), Ontario (S4B), Quebec (S2), Saskatchewan (S4B)

Other Statuses

Implied Status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): PS
Comments on USESA: Subspecies floridanus of Florida is listed by USFWS as Endangered. Considered of Moderate Priority on 1996 WatchList (Carter et al. 1996). Subspecies perpallidus of California is listed bu USFWS as a Species of Concern.
Implied Status under the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC):PS:SC
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: eastern Washington, southern British Columbia, southern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba, southern Ontario, southwestern Quebec, northern Vermont, New Hampshire, and southern Maine south to southern California, central Nevada, northern Utah, eastern Colorado, eastern new Mexico, northern Texas, Arkansas, northern Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and southeastern Virginia; from southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and southern Texas south to northern Sonora and northern Chihuahua; and in central Florida (Vickery 1996, AOU 1998). The main population is in the Great Plains, from North Dakota south to northern Texas, and east to Illinois (Johnson et al. 1998). NON-BREEDING: central California, southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, Texas, central Missouri, Tennessee, and North Carolina south through Mexico and Central America to northern Costa Rica and in the Bahamas and Cuba (Vickery 1996, AOU 1998). RESIDENT: Veracruz, Chiapas, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, northwestern Costa Rica, and Panama; Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico; and in western Colombia, western Ecuador, and the Netherlands Antilles (Vickery 1996, AOU 1998).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Decline in several areas in the eastern U.S. and southeastern Canada evidently is due to loss of habitat to cultivation, urban sprawl, and reforestation, compounded by losses incurred as a result of mowing of habitat and subsequent increased predation (Ehrlich et al. 1992). In Arizona, grazing decreased populations by removing bunchgrass, whereas in West Virginia, Florida, North Dakota, and Missouri moderate grazing did not cause a decline and (usually) increased grasshopper sparrow density (created areas of favorable short vegetation) (see Smith and Smith 1992). Endangered Florida population (subspecies FLORIDANUS) has declined due to conversion of prairie to pasture. South American populations may be threatened by overgrazing and conversion of natural grasslands in limited range (Ridgely and Tudor 1989). Levels of brood parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbird (MOLOTHRUS ATER) generally low (Vickery 1996). In Michigan, no cases of brood parasitism were found (George 1952).

Short-term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Short-term Trend Comments: North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data indicate a significant population decline (4.4% per year) in North America between 1966 and 1989 (Droege and Sauer 1990); decline was 3.9% per year betwen 1966 and 1993 (Peterjohn et al. 1994). Termination of the Conservation Reserve Program and a return of enrolled land to cultivation are expected to cause a population decline of 20% in North Dakota (Johnson and Igl 1995).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Protection Needs: Protect large tracts (ideally 500+ acres) of suitable habitat.

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: eastern Washington, southern British Columbia, southern Alberta, southern Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba, southern Ontario, southwestern Quebec, northern Vermont, New Hampshire, and southern Maine south to southern California, central Nevada, northern Utah, eastern Colorado, eastern new Mexico, northern Texas, Arkansas, northern Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and southeastern Virginia; from southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and southern Texas south to northern Sonora and northern Chihuahua; and in central Florida (Vickery 1996, AOU 1998). The main population is in the Great Plains, from North Dakota south to northern Texas, and east to Illinois (Johnson et al. 1998). NON-BREEDING: central California, southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, Texas, central Missouri, Tennessee, and North Carolina south through Mexico and Central America to northern Costa Rica and in the Bahamas and Cuba (Vickery 1996, AOU 1998). RESIDENT: Veracruz, Chiapas, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, northwestern Costa Rica, and Panama; Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico; and in western Colombia, western Ecuador, and the Netherlands Antilles (Vickery 1996, AOU 1998).

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: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
Canada AB, BC, MB, ON, QC, SK

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; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Cochise (04003)*, Pima (04019), Santa Cruz (04023)
CA Alameda (06001), Los Angeles (06037), Mendocino (06045), Orange (06059), Placer (06061), Sacramento (06067), San Diego (06073), San Luis Obispo (06079), Solano (06095), Sonoma (06097), Yolo (06113), Yuba (06115)
CT Fairfield (09001), Hartford (09003), New Haven (09009), New London (09011)*, Tolland (09013), Windham (09015)
FL Glades (12043), Hendry (12051), Highlands (12055), Okeechobee (12093), Osceola (12097)
ID Ada (16001), Bannock (16005), Bear Lake (16007), Benewah (16009), Bingham (16011), Blaine (16013), Boise (16015), Bonner (16017), Bonneville (16019), Camas (16025), Canyon (16027), Cassia (16031), Clark (16033), Elmore (16039), Franklin (16041), Fremont (16043), Gem (16045), Gooding (16047), Jefferson (16051), Latah (16057), Lincoln (16063), Nez Perce (16069), Oneida (16071), Owyhee (16073), Payette (16075), Twin Falls (16083), Valley (16085), Washington (16087)
LA Vernon (22115)
MA Barnstable (25001), Berkshire (25003), Bristol (25005), Dukes (25007), Essex (25009), Franklin (25011), Hampden (25013), Hampshire (25015), Middlesex (25017), Nantucket (25019), Plymouth (25023), Suffolk (25025), Worcester (25027)
MI Alger (26003), Allegan (26005), Alpena (26007), Antrim (26009), Barry (26015), Benzie (26019), Berrien (26021), Branch (26023), Calhoun (26025), Cass (26027), Charlevoix (26029), Cheboygan (26031), Chippewa (26033), Clare (26035), Dickinson (26043), Eaton (26045), Emmet (26047), Grand Traverse (26055), Gratiot (26057), Huron (26063), Ingham (26065), Ionia (26067), Iosco (26069), Isabella (26073), Jackson (26075), Kalamazoo (26077), Kent (26081), Lake (26085), Lapeer (26087), Leelanau (26089), Lenawee (26091), Livingston (26093), Manistee (26101), Mason (26105), Mecosta (26107), Missaukee (26113), Monroe (26115), Montcalm (26117), Muskegon (26121), Newaygo (26123), Oakland (26125), Oceana (26127), Ontonagon (26131), Osceola (26133), Oscoda (26135), Otsego (26137), Saginaw (26145), Sanilac (26151), Schoolcraft (26153), St. Clair (26147), St. Joseph (26149), Tuscola (26157), Van Buren (26159), Washtenaw (26161), Wayne (26163), Wexford (26165)
MS Clay (28025), Issaquena (28055), Jackson (28059), Madison (28089), Monroe (28095)
NH Belknap (33001), Carroll (33003), Cheshire (33005), Hillsborough (33011), Merrimack (33013), Rockingham (33015), Strafford (33017)
NJ Atlantic (34001), Bergen (34003), Burlington (34005), Cape May (34009), Cumberland (34011), Gloucester (34015), Hunterdon (34019), Mercer (34021), Middlesex (34023), Monmouth (34025), Morris (34027), Ocean (34029), Salem (34033), Somerset (34035), Sussex (34037), Warren (34041)
NM Hidalgo (35023)
OR Jackson (41029)*, Lane (41039), Linn (41043), Morrow (41049)*, Polk (41053)*, Umatilla (41059)
PA Berks (42011)*, Carbon (42025), Chester (42029)*, Monroe (42089)*, Philadelphia (42101)*, Pike (42103)*, Susquehanna (42115)*, Tioga (42117)*
RI Kent (44003), Newport (44005)*, Washington (44009)
UT Box Elder (49003), Cache (49005), Davis (49011), Juab (49023)*, Morgan (49029)*, Salt Lake (49035)*, Sanpete (49039)*, Tooele (49045)*, Wayne (49055), Weber (49057)*
VT Addison (50001), Chittenden (50007), Franklin (50011), Orange (50017), Rutland (50021), Windsor (50027)
WA Adams (53001), Douglas (53017), Franklin (53021), Garfield (53023), Grant (53025), Lincoln (53043), Spokane (53063), Walla Walla (53071), Whitman (53075)
WV Brooke (54009), Grant (54023), Harrison (54033), Ohio (54069), Preston (54077), Tucker (54093)
WY Albany (56001), Big Horn (56003), Campbell (56005), Carbon (56007), Converse (56009), Crook (56011), Fremont (56013), Goshen (56015), Hot Springs (56017), Johnson (56019), Laramie (56021), Lincoln (56023), Natrona (56025), Niobrara (56027), Park (56029), Platte (56031), Sheridan (56033), Sublette (56035), Sweetwater (56037), Teton (56039), Uinta (56041), Washakie (56043), Weston (56045)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Saco (01060002)+, Piscataqua-Salmon Falls (01060003)+, Pemigewasset (01070001)+, Merrimack (01070002)+, Nashua (01070004)+, Concord (01070005)+, Merrimack (01070006)+, Waits (01080103)+, Black-Ottauquechee (01080106)+, West (01080107)+, Middle Connecticut (01080201)+, Miller (01080202)+, Chicopee (01080204)+, Lower Connecticut (01080205)+, Westfield (01080206)+, Farmington (01080207)+, Charles (01090001)+, Cape Cod (01090002)+, Blackstone (01090003)+, Narragansett (01090004)+, Pawcatuck-Wood (01090005)+, Shetucket (01100002)+, Thames (01100003)+*, Quinnipiac (01100004)+, Housatonic (01100005)+, Saugatuck (01100006)+
02 Rondout (02020007)+, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+, Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104)+, Raritan (02030105)+, Long Island Sound (02030203)+*, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+, Lehigh (02040106)+, Crosswicks-Neshaminy (02040201)+, Lower Delaware (02040202)+, Schuylkill (02040203)+*, Brandywine-Christina (02040205)+*, Cohansey-Maurice (02040206)+, Mullica-Toms (02040301)+, Great Egg Harbor (02040302)+, Upper Susquehanna-Tunkhannock (02050106)+*, Pine (02050205)+*, North Branch Potomac (02070002)+
03 Upper St. Johns (03080101)+, Kissimmee (03090101)+, Western Okeechobee Inflow (03090103)+, Everglades (03090202)+, Caloosahatchee (03090205)+*, Upper Tombigbee (03160101)+, Town (03160102)+, Pascagoula (03170006)+, Mississippi Coastal (03170009)+, Middle Pearl-Strong (03180002)+
04 Ontonagon (04020102)+, Menominee (04030108)+, Tacoosh-Whitefish (04030111)+, Little Calumet-Galien (04040001)+, St. Joseph (04050001)+, Black-Macatawa (04050002)+, Kalamazoo (04050003)+, Upper Grand (04050004)+, Maple (04050005)+, Lower Grand (04050006)+, Thornapple (04050007)+, Pere Marquette-White (04060101)+, Muskegon (04060102)+, Manistee (04060103)+, Betsie-Platte (04060104)+, Boardman-Charlevoix (04060105)+, Manistique (04060106)+, St. Marys (04070001)+, Cheboygan (04070004)+, Thunder Bay (04070006)+, Au Sable (04070007)+, Au Gres-Rifle (04080101)+, Pigeon-Wiscoggin (04080103)+, Birch-Willow (04080104)+, Pine (04080202)+, Shiawassee (04080203)+, Flint (04080204)+, Cass (04080205)+, St. Clair (04090001)+, Clinton (04090003)+, Detroit (04090004)+, Huron (04090005)+, Ottawa-Stony (04100001)+, Raisin (04100002)+, Tiffin (04100006)+, Mettawee River (04150401)+, Otter Creek (04150402)+, Winooski River (04150403)+, Lamoille River (04150405)+, Missiquoi River (04150407)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+
05 West Fork (05020002)+, Cheat (05020004)+, Upper Ohio (05030101)+, Upper Ohio-Wheeling (05030106)+
08 Deer-Steele (08030209)+, Whisky Chitto (08080204)+
10 Madison (10020007)+, Yellowstone Headwaters (10070001)+, Upper Wind (10080001)+, Little Wind (10080002)+, Muskrat (10080004)+, Badwater (10080006)+, Upper Bighorn (10080007)+, Nowood (10080008)+, Greybull (10080009)+, North Fork Shoshone (10080012)+, South Fork Shoshone (10080013)+, Shoshone (10080014)+, Little Bighorn (10080016)+, Upper Tongue (10090101)+, Middle Fork Powder (10090201)+, Upper Powder (10090202)+, South Fork Powder (10090203)+, Salt (10090204)+, Crazy Woman (10090205)+, Clear (10090206)+, Middle Powder (10090207)+, Little Powder (10090208)+, Upper Little Missouri (10110201)+, Antelope (10120101)+, Dry Fork Cheyenne (10120102)+, Upper Cheyenne (10120103)+, Lance (10120104)+, Lightning (10120105)+, Angostura Reservoir (10120106)+, Beaver (10120107)+, Hat (10120108)+, Upper Belle Fourche (10120201)+, Lower Belle Fourche (10120202)+, Redwater (10120203)+, Niobrara Headwaters (10150002)+, Upper North Platte (10180002)+, Pathfinder-Seminoe Reservoirs (10180003)+, Medicine Bow (10180004)+, Little Medicine Bow (10180005)+, Sweetwater (10180006)+, Middle North Platte-Casper (10180007)+, Glendo Reservoir (10180008)+, Middle North Platte-Scotts Bluff (10180009)+, Upper Laramie (10180010)+, Lower Laramie (10180011)+, Horse (10180012)+, Cache La Poudre (10190007)+, Lone Tree-Owl (10190008)+, Crow (10190009)+, Upper Lodgepole (10190015)+, Lower Lodgepole (10190016)+, Sidney Draw (10190017)+
13 Mimbres (13030200)+, Playas Lake (13030201)+
14 Upper Green (14040101)+, New Fork (14040102)+, Upper Green-Slate (14040103)+, Big Sandy (14040104)+, Bitter (14040105)+, Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir (14040106)+, Blacks Fork (14040107)+, Muddy (14040108)+*, Great Divide closed basin (14040200)+, Little Snake (14050003)+, Muddy (14050004)+, Fremont (14070003)+
15 Animas Valley (15040003)+, Willcox Playa (15050201)+*, Upper San Pedro (15050202)+, Upper Santa Cruz (15050301)+, Rillito (15050302)+, Brawley Wash (15050304)+*, Rio De La Concepcion (15080200)+, San Bernardino Valley (15080302)+*, Cloverdale (15080303)+
16 Upper Bear (16010101)+, Central Bear (16010102)+, Bear Lake (16010201)+, Middle Bear (16010202)+, Little Bear-Logan (16010203)+*, Lower Bear-Malad (16010204)+, Lower Weber (16020102)+*, Jordan (16020204)+, Southern Great Salt Lake Desert (16020306)+*, Curlew Valley (16020309)+, Great Salt Lake (16020310)+, Middle Sevier (16030003)+*, San Pitch (16030004)+*, Lower Sevier (16030005)+*
17 Pend Oreille Lake (17010214)+, St. Joe (17010304)+, Upper Spokane (17010305)+, Lower Spokane (17010307)+, Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake (17020001)+, Chief Joseph (17020005)+, Upper Columbia-Entiat (17020010)+, Moses Coulee (17020012)+, Upper Crab (17020013)+, Banks Lake (17020014)+, Lower Crab (17020015)+, Upper Columbia-Priest Rapids (17020016)+, Snake headwaters (17040101)+, Greys-Hobock (17040103)+, Salt (17040105)+, Idaho Falls (17040201)+, Upper Henrys (17040202)+, Lower Henrys (17040203)+, Willow (17040205)+, Blackfoot (17040207)+, Portneuf (17040208)+, Lake Walcott (17040209)+, Raft (17040210)+, Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Salmon Falls (17040213)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Medicine Lodge (17040215)+, Big Wood (17040219)+, Camas (17040220)+, Little Wood (17040221)+, C. J. Idaho (17050101)+, Bruneau (17050102)+, Middle Snake-Succor (17050103)+, Boise-Mores (17050112)+, Lower Boise (17050114)+, Payette (17050122)+, North Fork Payette (17050123)+, Weiser (17050124)+, Lower Snake-Asotin (17060103)+, Lower Snake-Tucannon (17060107)+, Palouse (17060108)+, Rock (17060109)+, Lower Snake (17060110)+, Clearwater (17060306)+, Middle Columbia-Lake Wallula (17070101)+, Walla Walla (17070102)+, Umatilla (17070103)+, North Fork John Day (17070202)+*, Upper Willamette (17090003)+, North Santiam (17090005)+*, Middle Willamette (17090007)+*, Upper Rogue (17100307)+*, Middle Rogue (17100308)+*
18 Gualala-Salmon (18010109)+, Russian (18010110)+, Upper Bear (18020126)+, Upper Coon-Upper Auburn (18020161)+, Lower Sacramento (18020163)+, San Joaquin Delta (18040003)+, Upper Cosumnes (18040013)+, San Francisco Bay (18050004)+, Estrella (18060004)+, Salinas (18060005)+, Central Coastal (18060006)+, Santa Clara (18070102)+, San Gabriel (18070106)+, Santa Ana (18070203)+, Newport Bay (18070204)+, San Diego (18070304)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small songbird (sparrow).
General Description: A chunky sparrow with a short narrow tail, flat head, buffy breast and sides (adults usually without obvious streaking), dark crown with a pale central stripe, narrow white eye ring, and (in most adults) a yellow-orange spot in front of the eye; juveniles have pale buff breast and sides, streaked with brown; average length 13 cm (NGS 1983).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Differs from many other sparrows in having both an unstreaked buffy breast (adults) and a short tail. Differs from Le Conte's sparrow (AMMODRAMUS LECONTEII) in lacking a buffy-orange eyebrow and blue-gray ear patch. Adult differs from juvenile Henslow's sparrow (AMMODRAMUS HENSLOWII) in lacking a yellowish-olive central stripe on the crown. Juvenile lacks the olive and russet tones of the otherwise similar adult Henslow's sparrow.
Reproduction Comments: Arrive on the breeding grounds in mid-April and depart for the wintering grounds in mid-September (George 1952, Bent 1968, Smith 1968, Stewart 1975, Vickery 1996). In Saskatchewan and Manitoba, they arrive later (mid-May) and leave earlier (August) (Knapton 1979). Throughout most of their range, are able to produce two broods, one in late May and a second in early July (George 1952, Smith 1968, Vickery 1996). However, in the northern part of its range, one brood is probably most common; in Maine, no territories showed evidence of successfully fledging two broods and double-broodedness in Wisconsin is uncommon (Vickery et al. 1992, Wiens 1969). Frequently renest after nest failure, and if unsuccessful in previous attempts, may renest 3-4 times during the breeding season (Vickery 1996).
Ecology Comments: Average territory size is small (< 2 ha) (George 1952, Wiens 1969, Ducey and Miller 1980).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Arrives in northern nesting areas March-June (Terres 1980). Northern breeders migrate as far south as Costa Rica, accidentally south to Panama and West Indies, none to South America (Hilty and Brown 1986, Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Grassland/herbaceous, Old field, Savanna
Habitat Comments: BREEDING: Prefer grasslands of intermediate height and are often associated with clumped vegetation interspersed with patches of bare ground (Bent 1968, Blankespoor 1980, Vickery 1996). Other habitat requirements include moderately deep litter and sparse coverage of woody vegetation (Smith 1963, Bent 1968, Wiens 1969, Kahl et al. 1985, Arnold and Higgins 1986). Breed in both native and tame grassland vegetation (Kendeigh 1941, Birkenholz 1973, Whitmore 1979, Sample 1989, Wilson and Belcher 1989, Madden 1996), including native prairie, Conservation Reserve Program fields, pasture, hayland, airports, and reclaimed surface mines (Wiens 1973, Ducey and Miller 1980, Whitmore 1980, Kantrud 1981, Renken 1983, Renken and Dinsmore 1987, Bollinger 1988, Frawley and Best 1991, Johnson and Schwartz 1993, Berthelsen and Smith 1995, Hull et al. 1996, Patterson and Best 1996, Delisle and Savidge 1997, Prescott 1997). Occasionally inhabit cropland, such as corn and oats, but at a fraction of the densities found in grassland habitats (Smith 1963, Smith 1968, Ducey and Miller 1980, Basore et al. 1986, Faanes and Lingle 1995, Best et al. 1997).

In South Dakota, preferred large patches of appropriate grassland habitat; in landscapes not dominated by grassland, occupancy rate of patches greater than 50 hectares was 67%, whereas occupancy rate of smaller patches was only 12%. The preference still existed in landscapes dominated by grasslands, although the difference was not as dramatic: 50% in large patches, 40% in small patches (Bakker et al. 2002).

NON-BREEDING: Grass-dominated fields, native prairie (Florida), and grazed pastures (Mexico and Belize) (Vickery 1996).

Adult Food Habits: Granivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Granivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats insects, other small invertebrates, grain, seeds (Terres 1980). Picks up food items from the ground surface.
Adult Phenology: Crepuscular, Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Crepuscular, Diurnal
Length: 13 centimeters
Weight: 17 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: Provide areas of suitable habitat large enough to support breeding populations. In Illinois, the minimum area where found was 10-30 hectares (Herkert 1991), and the minimum area needed to support a breeding population may be > 30 hectares (Herkert 1994b). In Nebraska, minimum area was > 8 hectares (Helzer 1996), and in New York, Bollinger and Gavin (1992) recommend creating patches > 10-15 hectares whenever possible. Treat portions of large areas on a rotational schedule to provide a mosaic of successional stages (Renken 1983, Renken and Dinsmore 1987, Herkert 1994a, Madden 1996, Johnson 1997). Herkert (1994a) suggests that on areas > 80 hectares, annually treated (burned, mowed, or grazed) subunits should be > 30 hectares, or about 20-30 percent of the total area.

Treat small, isolated areas as part of a larger mosaic, ensuring a variety of successional stages (Renken 1983, Renken and Dinsmore 1987, Herkert 1994a, Madden 1996, Johnson 1997). Burn (or possibly mow or graze) < 50-60 percent of small, isolated prairie fragments at a time (Herkert 1994a).

In eastern portions of range, create or maintain patches of relatively sparse, grass-dominated vegetation resembling old (> 8-10 years since planted) hayfields (Bollinger and Gavin 1992, Bollinger 1995). Plant bunch grasses on disturbed sites; bunch grasses allow openings in vegetation that facilitate foraging (Smith 1963, Whitmore 1981).

In eastern and Great Plains grasslands, discourage woody vegetation (Whitmore 1981). This can be accomplished by disturbing (mowing, burning, or grazing) idle grassland (Skinner 1974).

Maintain open grassland by burning habitat once every 2-4 years (Whitmore 1981, Madden 1996, Johnson 1997). In Minnesota, Johnson and Temple (1990) found lower rates of nest depredation on nests in recently burned (< 3 years) areas.

Monitor population responses to burning, especially during unusually dry years. Treatment schedules should be adjusted during droughts as burning may reduce above-ground productivity to levels unacceptable to birds (Zimmerman 1992).

Eastern grasslands can be burned in late winter to prevent encroachment of shrubs (Whitmore 1981). Disturbance should occur prior to or following the breeding season (Whitmore 1981, Frawley 1989, Rodenhouse et al. 1995), and disturbance should occur every 2-3 years (Bollinger and Gavin 1992). However, in western shrubsteppe, removal of shrubs may be detrimental, possibly because shrubs are used as song perches in shrubsteppe habitat (Bock and Bock 1987).

In Missouri, mowing on a 1 to 3 year rotation provided suitable vegetation heights (< 30 centimeters) (Swengel 1996). Interval between management depends on grassland type, as mesic prairie regains litter more rapidly (1 to 3 years) than dry prairie (4 to 6 years), and sooner in southern than northern prairie (Swengel 1996).

Graze areas of tall, dense vegetation to provide diverse grass heights and densities (Skinner 1974, Kantrud 1981, Whitmore 1981). A rotational system may be most beneficial (Skinner 1974, Berkey et al. 1993). Berkey et al. (1993) suggested that short-term (2-4 weeks in May) grazing in North Dakota may be detrimental to populations.

Use various grazing systems (e.g., early-season, deferred [after 15 July], and continuous grazing of native grasslands, and spring-grazing [late April to early June] of tame grasslands) to maintain a mosiac of grassland types (Prescott and Wagner 1996). By allowing tame pastures to be grazed in spring, suitable habitat is maintained in the tame pastures, and grazing in native pastures can be deferred (Prescott and Wagner 1996).

In arid western regions, maintain relatively dense grasslands by curtailing grazing and burning activities (Bock and Webb 1984, Bock and Bock 1987). In cultivated areas, use no-till/minimum-till methods when possible (Berkey et al. 1993, Rodenhouse et al. 1995, Koford and Best 1996).

Restoration Potential: Suggested restoration guidelines are to plant native warm-season bunch grasses with a mixture of scattered forbs and shrubs (Jones and Vickery 1997).
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Area sensitive, preferring large grassland areas over small areas (Herkert 1994a,b; Vickery et al. 1994; Helzer 1996, Bakker et al. 2002). In Colorado, were about three times more abundant in interior grasslands than in areas < 200 meters from suburban development (Bock et al. in press). In Illinois, the minimum area used was 10-30 hectares (Herkert 1991), and the minimum area needed to support a breeding population may be > 30 hectares (Herkert 1994b). In Nebraska, the minimum area was 8 hectares (Helzer 1996). In Minnesota tallgrass prairie, nest depredation and Brown-headed Cowbird brood parasitism decreased farther from woody edges, and nest depredation rates were lower on large (130-486 hectares) than on small (16-32 hectares) grasslands (Johnson and Temple 1990). The probability of encountering sparrows was highest on large fragments far from a forest edge and > 4 years postburn; however, nest productivity was highest for nests far from a forest edge and one years postburn (Johnson and Temple 1986).
Management Requirements: Regardless of management treatment, avoid disturbing (e.g., burning, haying, heavy grazing) nesting habitat during the breeding season, approximately mid-April to late August (Stewart 1975, Whitmore 1981, Frawley 1989, Rodenhouse et al. 1995, Vickery 1996). Treatments can be done in early spring (several weeks prior to the arrival of adults on the breeding grounds) or possibly in the fall after the breeding season, as suggested for Bobolinks (DOLICHONYX ORYZIVORUS) (Renken 1983, Martin and Gavin 1995). Bollinger (1988) suggested leaving adjacent, untreated areas to provide refuge for fledglings and late or re-nesting Bobolinks, a technique that could also be applied to Grasshopper Sparrows.

BURNING: In general, sparrows avoid spring-burned areas in the summer immediately following the burn (Huber and Steuter 1984, Johnson 1997). Exhibited variable responses to burning across their range. In North Dakota, responded positively to prescribed burning, becoming most abundant 2-4 years postfire (Madden 1996, Johnson 1997). Density decreased immediately after burning in South Dakota, due to loss of nesting cover (litter and live vegetation) and loss of food source, but increased 2-3 years postburn (Forde et al. 1984). In Illinois tallgrass, were significantly more abundant 1-2 years postfire (Herkert 1994a), and in Montana shrubsteppe, densities were depressed for > 3 years postfire (Bock and Bock 1987). In Kansas, relative abundances were not affected by burning in moist years, but may be reduced in drought years (Zimmerman 1992); relative abundances between annually burned and unburned grasslands did not differ (Zimmerman 1993). No differences in mean number of young/attempted nest were detected between areas that were burned but not grazed and areas that were neither burned or grazed (Zimmerman 1997). Johnson and Temple (1990) found lower rates of depredation on nests in recently burned (< 3 years) areas in Minnesota than nests in areas unburned for > 4 years.

MOWING: Depending upon location, mowing prior to arrival in spring can improve habitat, and may be preferable to prescribed burning (Bollinger 1988, Swengel 1996). In Nebraska Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) seeded to warm-season native tallgrass, the only field that maintained a consistent population, was mowed 3 out of 4 years (Delisle and Savidge 1997). Preferred older hayfields (not reseeded in more than 10 years) in New York (Bollinger and Gavin 1992, Bollinger 1995). Preferred hayfields and avoided permanent pasture on a farm in Michigan (George 1952). Fields in New York mowed at earlier dates (late May-early June) the previous year had lower densities than those mowed at later dates (Bollinger 1995). Mowing-induced nest destruction appeared to be responsible for this reduction in nesting density.

GRAZING: Grazing in sparse, arid grasslands can be detrimental, as vegetation may become too short and open (Bock et al. 1984, Bock and Webb 1984, Bock et al. 1993). However, in areas where grass is too tall or dense, grazing offers benefits by creating patchy areas, decreasing vegetation height, and thinning dense vegetation (Skinner 1974, Kantrud 1981, Whitmore 1981). Kantrud and Kologiski (1982) found significantly greater densities on lightly grazed plots than on heavily grazed plots, and moderately grazed plots supported intermediate sparrow densities. Preferred grazed over idle areas in North Dakota; density was highest on short-duration, twice-over rotation, and season-long grazing systems, but density decreased as litter increased (Messmer 1990). In Alberta, were present only in tame pastures of crested wheatgrass (AGROPYRON CRISTATUM) that were grazed from late April to mid-June, and were absent from continuously grazed native pastures and from native pastures grazed in early summer and those grazed after 15 July (Prescott and Wagner 1996). In Saskatchewan, were more frequent in pure crested wheatgrass pastures and wheatgrass/GRASS (BROMUS INERMIS, POA SPP.) pastures than in native mixed-grass pastures, and more frequent in fields of pure crested wheatgrass than wheatgrass/legume (MEDICAGO SATIVA) pastures (Davis and Duncan in press).

Occasionally nest in cropland. In Iowa, preferred nontilled fields of corn and that were idle in fall and spring and contained year-round crop residue, rather than tilled fields (Basore et al. 1986). They also nested at low densities in strip cover, such as waterways, terraces, fencerows, and roadside ditches. In South Dakota, restoration of corn fields and soybean fields to prairie was beneficial (Blankespoor 1980). A 2-year drought in combination with 1 year of grazing on restored fields caused a decrease in effective plant height and in vertical and horizontal plant density; these vegetative changes were favored habitat (Blankespoor 1980). Nest density within native or tame CRP fields in Texas did not differ by cover type (blue grama [BOUTELOUA GRACILIS]/side-oats grama [B. CURTIPENDULA], blue grama/Kleingrass [PANICUM COLORATUM], and blue grama/plains bluestem [BOTHRIOCHLOA ISCHAEMUM]) (Berthelsen and Smith 1995). Were common within native Kansas CRP (Hull et al. 1996).

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: 21Feb1996
Management Information Edition Date: 06Feb1998
Management Information Edition Author: JOHNSON, D.H., L.D. IGL., ET AL.; REVISIONS BY G. HAMMERSON, J. MICHAUD, M.
Management Information Acknowledgments: Parts of this abstract were originally researched and written by staff of the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center and published as Johnson et al. (1998). Additional support for the preparation of this abstract was provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Initiative, through challenge grant number 97-270 to The Nature Conservancy, Wings of the Americas program. Matching funds for this grant were donated by Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 16May1996
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

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

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