Saltmarsh Sparrow

Ammodramus caudacutus




New World Sparrows and Towhees (Passerellida)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Pale green with red brown markings

Number of Eggs:

3 - 7

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground., Set in grasses or reeds.

Nest Material:

Lined with finer materials., Reeds, grass, and seaweed.





Saltmarsh Sparrow: Small sparrow with pale-streaked gray back, white throat, heavily streaked buff breast and sides, and white belly. Head has a dark cap, thick, orange-brown eyebrows and gray ear patches. Wings are gray with orange-brown shoulders. Tail is brown and pointed. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is duller and has less gray.

Range and Habitat

Saltmarsh Sparrow: Found in coastal salt marshes along the Atlantic Coast of the United States. They can also sometimes be found in brackish or freshwater marshes that are very near the coast. Breeds from Maine to Virginia and winters from North Carolina to Florida. Considered a permanent resident in parts of their normal range.

Breeding and Nesting

Saltmarsh Sparrow: Three to seven pale green eggs marked with red brown are laid in a nest made of reeds, grass, and seaweed, lined with finer materials, and built on the ground in grass or reeds. Eggs are incubated for 11 days by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Saltmarsh Sparrow: Eats insects, seeds, small crustaceans, and snails; forages on the ground and in dense vegetation.

Readily Eats

Sunflower Seed, Commercial Mixed Bird Seed


Saltmarsh Sparrow: Song is a soft, insect like "ts-ts-ssssss-tsik", while call is a sharp "chuck."

Similar Species

Saltmarsh Sparrow: Nelson's Sparrow has a shorter bill, less defined markings on head and around eye, and more intense buff on breast, sides, and flanks.

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 on top of the head of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X