Sagebrush Sparrow

Artemisiospiza nevadensis





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



Sagebrush Sparrow: Medium-sized sparrow with dark-streaked brown back and white underparts with central breast spot and streaks on sides. Gray head has small white patch in front of eye. White throat is interrupted by a thick, dark moustache stripe. Wings are brown with two faint bars. Tail is long and dark with thin, white edges. Coastal form is darker. 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

Sagebrush Sparrow: Breeds from Washington south to Baja California and throughout the Great Basin. Spends winters in small flocks in low desert of southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas, south into Mexico. Found in sagebrush flats, alkaline flats with saltbush, and semi-desert shrublands in the lowlands.

Breeding and Nesting

Sagebrush Sparrow: Two to five pale white to blue eggs spotted with dark brown and black are laid in a loose cup of sagebrush pieces, twigs, grass, and bark chips and lined with grass, feathers, fur, and seeds. Nest is well hidden in a shrub, usually less than 4 feet above the ground. Incubation ranges from 10 to 16 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Sagebrush Sparrow: Feeds mostly on vegetables and seeds; forages mainly on the ground. Eats insects in winter.

Readily Eats

Sunflower Seed, Commercial Mixed Bird Seed


Sagebrush Sparrow: Song is a weak high-pitched series of tinkling bell-like notes. Alarm call is a short bell-like “tsip”

Similar Species

Sagebrush Sparrow: Bell's Sparrow has a darker malar stripe, solid back, and brown flanks.


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