Bairdís Sparrow, 5 Ĺ"
Drawing by Patsy Renz

An uncommon brown sparrow whose back appears streaky or scaly, a mustard-yellow tinge on head and an ocher central strip on crown. Has a necklace of fine, short, dark streaks on upper breast over a whitish belly and rufous-tinged dark streaks on flanks. Short-tailed, flat-headed with a relatively large bill.

Nests in dry, native shortgrass prairies of North Dakota, eastern Montana, southern Saskatchewan, Alberta, and southwestern Manitoba. Winters in northern Mexico. Likes a mosaic of intermediate and short grasses mixed with buckbrush. Doesnít like ground matted with dead vegetation. Nests and feeds on the ground. Eats insects, especially grasshoppers and spiders. Prefers walking among grasses. When flushed, flies low, drops and runs in grass.

Males defend territories of 1-2 acres. Has several song perches in its territory. Only perches when singing. Sings in early spring and summer. Song is high and clear. Three to five high pitched short notes followed by long, warbling, musical trill. Repeated 5-9 times per minute.


NDSU Central Grasslands Research Extension Center
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