Vesper Sparrow

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Pooecetes gramineus

Vesper Sparrow

The Vesper Sparrow is a fairly large sparrow with a chunky body, a fairly small conical bill and a long, notched tail.

Both sexes measure about 5.1 - 6.3 inches in length, with a wingspan of 9.4 inches and weight of 20 - 28 grams.

Adults have light brown upperparts and light underparts, both with darker streaking. They have a white eye-ring and a long dark brown tail which shows white outer feathers in flight.
They also have a distinctive, but difficult to see, chestnut patch on the shoulder.

CALL: Includes a sharp "chirp".

SONG: Starts with 1–4 downslurred whistles followed by a rising and falling trill that ends with a buzzy jumble. They are early morning songsters, but they also tend to sing after sunset. They sing from elevated perches such as fences, wires, posts, and shrubs.

Primarily feeds on insects during the summer, along with spiders and other small invertebrates. Feeds heavily on seeds in the winter.

Found in many open dryland habitats, including roadside ditches, prairies, grassy or weedy fields, and stubble fields.

Summers throughout much of the United States and southern Canada.

Winters in the southern U.S. and points south.

The female weaves together a shallow cup of grasses, sedges, mosses, and strips of bark. It is placed on the ground in a shallow depression, often under or next to clumps of vegetation, logs, or branches.

She lays 2 - 6 whitish eggs with variable brown or purplish spots, streaks and blotches. Incubation period is about 11 - 14 days.


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