Bell's Sparrow

Artemisiospiza belli





Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pale blue with dark brown and black markings

Number of Eggs:

2 - 5

Incubation Days:

12 - 16

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

0 - 4 feet above ground., Deep in shrub.

Nest Material:

Sagebrush pieces, twigs, grass, and bark chips., Lined with grasses, forbs, feathers, fur, and seeds.


Most migrate



Bell’s Sparrow: Medium-sized sparrow with brown back and buff-white underparts with central breast spot and streaks on brown-gray sides. Gray head has small white patch in front of eye. White throat is interrupted by a narrow, dark moustache stripe bordered by a broad white submoustachial stripe. Wings are brown with two faint bars. Tail is long and is often held cocked. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is duller and more heavily streaked. Sage Sparrow was split into two distinct species in 2014 by the American Ornithologist Union. Bell’s Sparrow and Sagebrush Sparrow.

Range and Habitat

Bell’s Sparrow: Breeds in coastal mountain ranges from northern California and sound into Baja California and northwest Mexico. Found in sagebrush flats, alkaline flats with saltbush, and semi-desert shrublands in the lowlands.

Breeding and Nesting

Bell's Sparrow: Two to five pale blue eggs marked with dark brown and black are laid in a loose cup of sagebrush pieces, twigs, grass, and bark chips and lined with grass, forbs, feathers, fur, and seeds. Nest is well hidden in a shrub, usually less than 4 feet above the ground. Incubation ranges from 12 to 16 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Bell's Sparrow: Feeds on insects and seeds; forages mainly on the ground.


Bell’s Sparrow: Song is a series of phrases with a seesaw rhythm, "twee-si-tity-slip." Call is a bell like note "tik" or "tik-tik."

Similar Species

Bell's Sparrow: Black-throated Sparrow has a black throat.


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

The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X