photo by Phil Swanson
L 5 1/2″ (14 cm).
Song or calls:
Song begins with 2 or 3 high thin notes, followed by single warbled note and a low trill.
Description: Sexes similar. Buffy head and nape with fine black streaks on nape and sides of crown; unstreaked buffy central crown stripe. Brown upperparts with streaked back; whitish unstreaked belly. Whitish throat bordered with dark stripe on each side; buffy breast band with widely spaced dark streaking on breast and sides. Tail feathers edged with buff; corners of tail light gray. Juvenile has paler head; streaked central crown stripe; and more extensively streaked underparts.
Behavior: Secretive and hard to spot; slips through grass instead of flies when flushed.
Habitat: Prairies, other natural grasslands, and weedy fields.
Where in Nebraska: Uncommon spring and fall migrant across most of the state, becoming less common eastwardly and rare in extreme eastern counties.
Status: Numbers have declined with loss of virgin prairie habitat.
Fun Facts: Baird’s Sparrows like open areas such as native prairie mixed with forbs and recently burned forests where they are usually abundant for two to three years after a fire