Le Conte’s Sparrow

photo by Phil Swanson

Ammodramus leconteii
L 5″ (13 cm).

Song or calls:
Song is short, high, insect-like buzz.

Description: Sexes similar. White central crown stripe, buffy at rear of crown; chestnut streaking on nape. Broad, bright buffy-orange eyebrow; blue-gray ear patch; black crown stripes and eye line. Brown upperparts; orange-buff breast and sides; dark streaking on sides of breast and flanks; white belly. Juveniles are buffy overall, with tawny crown stripe and heavily streaked breast.

Behavior: Secretive; scurries through grasses like a mouse.

Bird Map
Habitat: Wet grassy fields and meadows, and marsh edges with sedges, cattails, and deep grasses.

Where in Nebraska: Uncommon but regular spring and fall migrant in eastern Nebraska. Rare or absent in the west.

Fun Facts: The first Le Conte’s Sparrow was not discovered until 1790 and the first nest was not discovered until 100 years later.

Le Conte's Sparrow - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)