Vesper Sparrow

Pooecetes gramineus

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Emberizids (Emberizidae)

Code 4

VESP

Code 6

POOGRA

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Vesper Sparrow has a large range, estimated globally at 7,400,000 square kilometers. Native to Canada, the United States, and Mexico, as well as Guatemala, the Bahamas, and Turks and Caicos Islands, this bird prefers temperate shrubland and grassland ecosystems though it can reside on arable or pasture land. The global population of this bird is estimated at 30,000,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Vesper Sparrow is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Vesper Sparrow: Medium sparrow, black-streaked gray-brown upperparts, white underparts, and streaked breast and sides. White face has brown cheek patch and white eye-ring. Wings are gray-brown with two pale bars and rufous shoulder patches. Tail is notched and dark with white edges.

 

Range and Habitat

Vesper Sparrow: Breeds from the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Quebec, and Nova Scotia south to central California, New Mexico, and western North Carolina. Spends winters north to central California, Oklahoma, and along the Gulf Coast and Mid-Atlantic states. Found in cultivated fields, grasslands, and fallow fields with adjacent farmed areas.

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Vesper Sparrow SONGS AND CALLS

Vesper Sparrow A1

Song starts with a few clear notes, followed by musical trills.

Vesper Sparrow A2

Common call is a sharp "chip".

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"here-here where-where", "hisp"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Vesper Sparrow responds quickly to changes in habitat; it is often the first species to occupy reclaimed mine sites and abandon old farm fields as they return to forest.
  • It was first described by German naturalist Johann Friedrich Gmelin in 1789. It is the only member of its genus.
  • Long known as the "Bay-winged Bunting," the bird was given the pleasing if somewhat inappropriate name Vesper Sparrow by the naturalist John Burroughs, who thought the song sounded more melodious in the evening.
  • A group of Vesper Sparrows are collectively known as a "congregation" and a "liturgy" 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

Samira Belous

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.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
ShoulderX
The short feathers overlying the median secondary coverts on the top of the wing. They are located near the back and can be seen as the “first row” of feathers on the birds wing. They are also called marginal coverts and lesser secondary coverts.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X