Henslow's Sparrow

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Ammodramus henslowii

Henslow's Sparrow

The Henslow's Sparrow is a large-headed and thick-billed sparrow that breeds in southern Canada, the northeastern United States, and the mid-western United States.

Adults are 4.3 - 5.1 inches in length, with a wingspan of 6.3 - 7.9 inches and weight around 11 - 15 grams.

They have streaked brown upper parts with a light brown breast with streaks, a white belly and a white throat. They have a pale stripe on the crown with a dark stripe on each side, an olive face and neck, rust-colored wings and a short dark forked tail.

CALL: The usual alarm call is a sharp "tsip". They also make a series of high-pitched whistles during the height of the breeding season.

SONG: It has the simplest and shortest song of any North American songbird. It is a simple, buzzed "tzelick" to human ear, but spectrographic analysis reveals a more complicated song that is outside the range of human hearing.

Insects and spiders make up most of the summer diet. Seeds also make up a portion of the diet, and may be the primary food item in the winter.

Often found in weedy fields and meadows, often damp or marshy, with standing tall weeds and shrubs. They have also been found using abandoned pastures and farm fields.

Summers throughout much of the Midwest, the eastern Great Lakes region, parts of the Mid-Atlantic, and parts of the eastern Great Plains.

Winters in the southeastern U.S.

The female builds a loosely weaved shallow bowl-shape nest of grasses and weed stems, lined with finer grasses and/or hair. It is placed on the ground, typically in a shallow depression or in a protected location such as next to a clump of vegetation.

The female lays 3 - 4 glossy white eggs, with speckles and blotches. She alone incubates the eggs for 10 - 12 days.



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