Henslow’s Sparrow

photo by Phil Swanson

Ammodramus henslowii
L 5″ (13 cm).

Song or calls:
Song is short, quiet “se-lick,” with accent on second syllable.

Description: Sexes similar. Large flat head; large gray bill. Greenish head, central crown stripe, and nape; black crown stripes and mustache stripes. Contrasting dark chestnut back and wings; whitish underparts with buffy breast band and dark streaking on breast and sides. Juvenile is yellower, with less streaking below.

Behavior: Secretive; may perch in open for a few minutes after being flushed several times before dropping back into cover.

Bird Map
Habitat: Weedy pastures and meadows, abandoned grassy fields, and low-lying, damp pasturelands. Scattered low bushes provide song perches.

Where in Nebraska: Occasional spring and fall migrant and summer resident in eastern Nebraska. Most records from Adams and Webster Counties. Breeding limited to Lancaster and Washington Counties.

Fun Facts: When Henslow’s Sparrows sing, they are mostly active at dawn and dusk, but will sometimes sing all night.