Cassin's Sparrow

Peucaea cassinii

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Emberizids (Emberizidae)

Code 4

CASP

Code 6

PEUCAS

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Cassin's Sparrow has a large range in North America, reaching up to 2 million square kilometers. The global population of this bird is thought to be extremely large, estimated at around 20 million individual birds. Cassin's Sparrow is native to Mexico, the United States and Canada. Currently, Cassin's Sparrow has a rating of Least Concern. Due to the extremely large size of the population of Cassin's Sparrow, there is no concern that this bird will be in danger in the immediate future.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Cassin's Sparrow: Medium, skulking grassland sparrow, fine brown streaks on gray-brown head and back, buff underparts. Tail is long, rounded, white-tipped. Legs, feet are pink-orange. Forages by scratching on the ground. Short flight, alternates several rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.

 

Range and Habitat

Cassin's Sparrow: Breeds from southern Arizona and southeastern Wyoming, extending to southern New Mexico, through western and central Texas, and south into Mexico. Spends winters in southern part of its breeding range. Preferred habitats include semi-desert or arid uplands supporting yuccas and tall grass.

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Cassin's Sparrow SONGS AND CALLS

Cassin's Sparrow B1

Interaction calls.

Cassin's Sparrow A1

Call note is a sharp, repeated chip.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"pit-pit-pit-pit"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The male Cassin's Sparrow flies straight up in his display flight and then floats downward on fixed wings, singing the entire time. This behavior, distinctive among sparrows, is sometimes called "skylarking."
  • Their population numbers vary widely in response to summer rainfall. In some years singing males appear at the edge of their range where none usually breed. What causes these movements is unknown, but hypotheses include east-to-west migration, dispersal of birds that were unsuccessful breeding in another area, and nomadism.
  • They have an unusual molt cycle. The juvenile molts twice in the first six months of life whereas the adult has a long body molt lasting several months, then a much quicker complete molt in fall.
  • A group of sparrows has many collective nouns, including a "crew", "flutter", "meinie", "quarrel", and "ubiquity" of sparrows.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

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BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

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

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X