SCIENTIFIC NAME: Peucaea cassinii
The Cassin's Sparrow is a sturdy songbird, fairly large for a sparrow, with a long, rounded tail, flat forehead, and fairly large, long bill.
Adults are brown, reddish-brown, and grayish, with a few dark streaks on the flanks and a pale eyering in fresh plumage. The bill is brownish gray, with darker upper mandible and pale bluish-gray tomial edge and lower mandible. Legs are dull pinkish or dark flesh.
Juveniles are similar to adults with a brown back, feathers with buffy tips and darker brown central streaks, greater coverts edged with white, and light streaking on breast and throat.
The Cassin's Sparrows are 5.1 - 5.9 inches long, having a wingspan of 7.9 inches and weight of 16 - 21 grams.
CALL: A very high-pitched, rising “psit”.
SONG: Primary song is a whistled melody, beginning with two short introductory notes, followed by a rich, fluting trill and two lower final notes. They also have a “complex” song that resembles the primary song but is preceded by a series of chips and buzzy notes.
Courting adults often give a buzzy twitter call when chasing or displaying over the territory.
The summer diet is primarily insects, while seeds and grain make up a large portion of the winter diet.
Found in brushy grasslands, both those composed primarily of thick brush with an understory of grass, and those composed primarily of grassland with a few scattered bushes.
Summers in the southern Great Plains. Winters in extreme southern Texas and New Mexico, and Mexico.
The female builds the nest, a loose cup of grasses and weeds lined with hair, fine grasses, and fine roots. She lays 3 - 5 white and unmarked eggs.
Incubation lasts 9 - 11 days.