The Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri) is a small, slim sparrow that was named after the ornithologist Thomas Mayo Brewer.
The plumage of adults is mostly grey-brown on the back and pale grey below. The crowns is brown both with dark streaks. They have pale eye-rings.
Their wings are brown with light wing bars.
Their bill is pale with a dark tip and they have a long notched tail.
Distribution / Range
Brower's Sparrows migrate to the southwestern United States south to central Mexico.
Their populations have decreased in some parts of their range due to destruction of sagebrush habitat.
There are two distinct populations
- Spizella breweri breweri - nominate species
- Found in brushy areas, especially with sagebrush, in southern parts of western Canada and in the western United States.
- Spizella breweri taverneri
- Found in thicketed areas around the tree-line in the Rockies of northern British Columbia, the southern Yukon and southeastern Alaska.Some consider this to be a separate species, the Timberline Sparrow.
- ID: somewhat darker and larger than the southern nominate species.
Nesting / Breeding
The female lays 3 to 4 eggs in a cup nest in low shrubs.
Song / Vocalization
The male sings to defend a nesting territory. The song is a long varied mix of notes and trills.
Diet / Feeding
During the summers, Brewer's Sparrows mainly eat insects. In the winter time, when insects are not as readily available, their main diet consists of seeds.
These sparrows forage on the ground or in low vegetation.
Outside the breeding season, they are usually seen in flocks - sometimes with other sparrows.
Species Research by Sibylle Johnson
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