Clay-colored Sparrow

Spizella pallida

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Emberizids (Emberizidae)

Code 4

CCSP

Code 6

SPIPAL

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Clay-colored Sparrow has a fairly large range reaching up to about 3.2 million square kilometers. This bird can be found throughout North America - including Canada, the United States and Mexico as well as areas of the Caribbean and Central America including the Bahamas, Cuba, Guatemala, Turks and Caicos Islands and a vagrant population in Belize. This species can be found in temperate forests, shrublands and grasslands as well as inland wetlands including rivers, streams and creeks, bogs, marshes and swamps. The global population of this bird is estimated to be around 23 million individuals. Currently, it is not believed that the population trends for this species will soon approach the minimum levels that could suggest a potential decline in population. Due to this, population trends for the Clay-colored Sparrow have a present evaluation level of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Clay-colored Sparrow: Medium sparrow with black-streaked brown upperparts and buff underparts. The face is pale with finely streaked crown, crisp brown cheek patch, white eyestripe, and gray nape. Pink-gray legs and feet. Short flight, alternates several rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.


Range and Habitat

Clay-colored Sparrow: This species breeds from the Northwest Territories through central Canada and the Great Lakes region south and from Montana east to New England. Spends winters from southern California and Texas south throughout Mexico. Its preferred habitats include brushy grasslands and prairies.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"bzzz-bzzz-zeee-zeee"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The plowing of the prairies reduced the habitat of the Clay-colored Sparrow, but with the clearing of forests it has extended its range northeastward and now breeds in the eastern Great Lakes region.
  • This bird's nests are often parasitized by the Brown-headed Cowbird; the nest may be abandoned when this happens.
  • Unlike most songbirds, they forage outside of their nesting territory, leaving them with smaller territories to defend than most songbirds their size.
  • A group of sparrows has many collective nouns, including a "crew", "flutter", "meinie", "quarrel", and "ubiquity" of sparrows.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Clay-colored Sparrow

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Juan Costa

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X