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Le Conte's Sparrow Ammodramus leconteii


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Le Conte's Sparrow
credit: Laura Erickson/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Emberizidae, New World Sparrows view all from this family

Description ADULT Has warm buffy brown upperparts overall, but alignment of dark-centered, buff-edged back feathers creates lengthways lines. Face looks buff-orange overall, but note dark crown with white central stripe, and blue-gray ear coverts with two dark spots. Pale throat is defined laterally by thin dark stripes and lightly streaked breast is flushed buff-yellow; underparts are otherwise whitish, with dark streaks and buffy wash on flanks. JUVENILE Similar, but patterns and colors on head are muted.

Dimensions Length: 5" (13 cm)

Habitat Locally common summer visitor (mainly May-Sep) to marshes and wet grassland. Winters in southeastern U.S.

Observation Tips Easiest to see in spring.

Range Western Canada, Southeast, Eastern Canada, Mid-Atlantic, Plains, Texas, Southwest, Florida, Rocky Mountains, Great Lakes

Voice Song is a strangled-sounding buzzing trill; call is a thin tzeet.

Discussion Secretive sparrow that prefers to scurry from danger rather than fly, often through and under flattened grass tussocks. Color and pattern on face are distinctive. Sexes are similar.