Olive Sparrow

Arremonops rufivirgatus




New World Sparrows and Towhees (Passerellida)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:

2 - 5

Incubation Days:

10 - 12

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground., 2 - 5 feet above ground., In bush or cactus.

Nest Material:

Dry grasses, sticks, stems, leaves, and bark pieces., Lined with mammal hair and finer materials.





Olive Sparrow: Medium-sized sparrow with olive-brown upperparts. Underparts are olive-gray on breast, sides, flanks and undertail coverts, and white on chin, throat and belly. Also has wide brown stripe on each side of crown and dark line through eye. Tail is rounded and dark brown. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is browner with streaks above and below, except on white belly and throat.

Range and Habitat

Olive Sparrow: Found in southern Texas in the United States. In Mexico, it occurs in the states along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and in the Yucatan Peninsula south to northern Belize. Also occurs in Pacific Coast region of Costa Rica. The species avoids coastal prairie and barrier island habitats. Preferred habitats include weedy thickets and thorn scrub.

Breeding and Nesting

Olive Sparrow: Two to five white eggs are laid in a nest made of dried grass, sticks, stems, leaves, and bark pieces, lined with mammal hair and finer materials, and built in a bush or cactus, 2 to 5 feet above the ground, or sometimes on the ground. Incubation ranges from 10 to 12 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Olive Sparrow: Eats seeds and insects. Forages low in trees, bushes, and on the ground.

Readily Eats

Sunflower Seed, Commercial Mixed Bird Seed


Olive Sparrow: Song is a repetitive accelerating series of "chip" notes, preceded by one or two introductory notes "chip, chip, chip-chip-chip-chip-chip." Call is an insect-like "speeee" or a sharp "tsik."

Similar Species

Olive Sparrow: Green-tailed Towhee is larger, has red-brown cap, black line bordering white moustache stripe, gray head and underparts, and lacks eyestripe.


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

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
The area of the face just below the bill.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X