Vesper Sparrow

Pooecetes gramineus

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

New World Sparrows and Towhees (Passerellida)

Code 4

VESP

Code 6

POOGRA

ITIS

Egg Color:

Creamy white or pale green with brown markings



Number of Eggs:

2 - 6



Incubation Days:

11 - 13



Egg Incubator:

Both sexes



Nest Location:

On ground.



Nest Material:

Grasses, weed stalks, and rootlets., Lined with fine grasses and animal hair.



Migration:

Migratory



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General

Vesper Sparrow: Medium-sized, stocky sparrow with 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. Sexes are similar.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Vesper Sparrow: Two to six creamy white or pale green eggs with brown markings are laid in a cup of grass, weed stalks, and rootlets, built in a scraped-out ground depression, and lined with fine grass and animal hair. Incubation ranges from 11 to 13 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Vesper Sparrow: Feeds on insects during the summer, along with spiders and other small invertebrates. Eats mostly seeds in the winter; forages on the ground.

Readily Eats

Sunflower Seed, Commercial Mixed Bird Seed

Vocalization

Vesper Sparrow: Song consists of a pair of repeated notes "here-here where-where" followed by a series of descending trills. Call is a short "hsip."

Similar Species

Vesper Sparrow: Savannah Sparrow has shorter tail, yellow behind eye, pale central crown stripe, and lacks rust-brown shoulder and eye-ring.

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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