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Savannah Sparrow

Passerculus sandwichensis

Length: 5.75 inches Wingspan: 8 to 9.5 inches Seasonality: Summer/Migrant
ID Keys: Heavily streaked chest, thin white crown stripe, distinct facial pattern

Savannah Sparrow - Passerculus sandwichensisThe Savannah Sparrow is a ground-dwelling sparrow found in a wide variety of open grassy/marshy habitats.  Sometimes confusing for birders, several different races exist with a variety of colorations.  They were first named for Savannah, Georgia, the city in which they were originally identified and described.

Habitat: Open habitat including prairies, meadows, rangeland, pastures, salt marshes, other wetland edges, dunes, shores.

Diet: Primarily feeds on insects in the summer.  Also feeds on seeds and berries, especially in the winter.  Populations along the coast will also feed on small crustaceans and mollusks.

Behavior: Savannah Sparrows forage on the ground, or low in grasses and bushes.  They can be very sociable in migration, forming large flocks.

Nesting: May through July

Song: 2 "chip" notes followed by a buzzy trill. 

Migration: Summers through all of Canada and Alaska, and most of the northern half of the U.S.  Winters in the southern half of the U.S., Mexico, and Central America.

Interactive eBird map: Click here to access an interactive eBird map of Savannah Sparrow sightings

Similar Species: Vesper Sparrow, Song Sparrow

Conservation Status: Stable throughout most of its range.

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Savannah Sparrow

2) Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Savannah Sparrow

3) eNature.com: Savannah Sparrow

Photo Information: May 26th, 2003 -- Minnehaha County -- Terry Sohl

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Savannah Sparrow photos.

 

Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Savannah Sparrow - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Common to uncommon migrant and summer resident, with higher breeding numbers in the northeastern part of the state.

Additional Savannah Sparrow Photos
Click for a higher-resolution version of these photos
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