Grasshopper Sparrow
 Photo Grasshopper Sparrow Photo Grasshopper Sparrow Photo

General description.

There is a pale, central stripe on the crown of the pretty "Grasshopper Sparrow". His head is large and his tail, short. The streaking on his back and sides is of a scaly pattern. Because this elusive bird feeds exclusively on the ground among tall grasses, it is hard to spot even for the most experienced birder.

Juvenile appearance.

The young have streaked breasts.

Flight pattern.

When flushed, the "Grasshopper Sparrow" makes a low, twisting wren-like flight, then drops to cover.

Breeding habits.

This sparrow breeds across most of the eastern two thirds of the United States. It chooses open grassy and weedy meadows, pastures and plains. It is subtle to changes in habitat, so if his field of choice becomes overgrown, or trees have taken over abandoned pasture, the "Grasshopper Sparrow" will not return to the site for breeding.

Calls or song.

Although enjoying its share of grasshoppers, it's the buzzing song that gives the "Grasshopper Sparrow" its name. The male produces two territorial songs; a long, insectlike "tip-tup-a-zeeeeeee" and a more musical, "zee sic-a-zeedle sic-a-zeedle sic-a-zeedle-zeeee." Both sexes communicate between themselves by trilling, "ti-tu-ti-tu-ti-i-i-i-i-i"

Population and distribution.

The "Grasshopper Sparrow" consumes more insects than any other sparrow. In some parts of the country, it resides in different habitats, such as palmetto grasslands in Florida.

Nesting habits.

Gathering in loose colonies during nesting season, the "Grasshopper Sparrow" makes a domed cup of grass, in which she lays four or five white eggs, speckled with red-brown around the larger end.
©2010 BirdingBirds LLC
Legal About Us Talk To Us