Rufous-winged Sparrow

Peucaea carpalis





Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pale blue

Number of Eggs:

2 - 5

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

In fork of cactus or thorny bush., 0.5 - 10 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with finer materials., Forbs, grass, twigs, and bark.





Rufous-winged Sparrow: Medium-sized sparrow with gray-brown upperparts finely streaked with black; underparts are white. Pale gray head has rufous crown divided by gray median stripe, red-brown eye-line, and black moustache stripe. Wings are brown with rufous shoulder patches and two white bars. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is paler with less distinct face markings, pale brown wing-bars, and streaks on breast and sides.

Range and Habitat

Rufous-winged Sparrow: Year-round resident from south-central Arizona and Guadalupe Canyon, New Mexico, south to northern Sinaloa, Mexico. Inhabits desert grasslands with scattered mesquite or cholla. Also occurs in washes with sandy bottoms and vegetated slopes, brushy irrigation ditches, and creeks bordered by broad-leaved trees, mesquite, grasses and forbs.

Breeding and Nesting

Rufous-winged Sparrow: Two to five pale blue eggs are laid in a cup nest made of forbs, grass, twigs, and bark, lined with finer materials, and built in a cactus or thorny bush. Incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Rufous-winged Sparrow: Eats insects and seeds. Forages by hopping on the ground; occasionally hawks insects from the ground.

Readily Eats

Sunflower Seed, Commercial Mixed Bird Seed


Rufous-winged Sparrow: Song is a rapid jumbled series of "chip" notes, "chip-chip-chip", followed by an accelerating trill, "sweet-sweet-sweet." Call is a high, abrasive "seep" or high, thin "tsit."

Similar Species

Rufous-winged Sparrow: Rufous-crowned Sparrow has single moustache stripe, gray-brown upperparts with rufous streaks, and lacks rufous shoulder patch.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
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