New World Sparrows

279 species: Worldwide except the Australian region. Fifty-two species breed in North America.

adult, Northern
Ammodramus savannarum
4 1/2-5" (11-13 cm). A small, chunky grassland sparrow with clear buff breast and scaly-looking, dark rufous upperparts. Pale central stripe on crown; short, pointed tail.
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adult
Pipilo chlorurus
6 1/4-7" (16-18 cm). A ground-dwelling species, smaller than the other towhees. Rufous cap; olive green above; white throat and belly; gray breast. White lores and dark "mustache" stripe. Yellow wing...
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adult, breeding
Zonotrichia querula
7 1/2" (19 cm). Adult has black crown, throat, and chest; pink bill; gray face; brown back, wings, and tail; and white abdomen with spotted or streaked sides. Immatures have buff faces and lack solid...
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adult
Ammodramus henslowii
5" (13 cm). Dull olive green head, reddish-brown wings, and streaked breast and flanks.
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adult male, breeding
Calcarius lapponicus
6-7" (15-18 cm). Sparrow-sized. The only longspur in most of the East. Breeding male has black face, crown, and upper breast; chestnut nape; and is streaked above and white below, with streaked...
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adult male, breeding
Calamospiza melanocorys
6-7 1/2" (15-19 cm). Breeding male black, with large white wing patch. Female, immature, and winter male streaked sandy buff above, white below, with white eye line, faint "mustache" stripe, white...
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adult
Chondestes grammacus
5 1/2-6 1/2" (14-17 cm). Head boldly patterned with black, chestnut, and white; streaked above; white below, with black spot in center of breast; tail black with white edges.
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adult
Ammodramus leconteii
5" (13 cm). Similar to the interior Canadian race of the Sharp-tailed Sparrow, but crown stripe is white instead of gray; wide reddish collar on nape and upper back.
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adult
Melospiza lincolnii
5-6" (13-15 cm). Crown has 2 rusty stripes; gray eyebrow. Buff band, finely streaked with black, across upper breast. Similar to Song Sparrow, but more finely streaked and shyer.
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adult male, breeding
Rhynchophanes mccownii
5 3/4-6" (15 cm). Sparrow-sized. Breeding male streaked above, with black crown, whitish face, and black "mustache"; gray below with bold black band across breast. Female and winter male duller and...
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adult male
Plectrophenax hyperboreus
7" (18 cm). Similar to, but whiter than, the widespread Snow Bunting. Breeding male snow white, except for dark bill, black tips of primaries, and tips of central tail feathers. Female has darkish...
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adult
Arremonops rufivirgatus
5 3/4" (15 cm). Unstreaked, dull olive green, with brown head stripes, buff breast, and whitish belly; no wing bars; like a small edition of the Green-tailed Towhee.
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adult, Interior
Aimophila ruficeps
5-6" (13-15 cm). Rufous crown with darker rufous eye stripe on gray head; conspicuous black "whisker" mark. Mantle gray with rufous-brown streaks; underparts unstreaked gray. Juveniles have buff-...
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adult
Aimophila carpalis
5-5 1/2" (13-14 cm). Resembles Rufous-crowned Sparrow, but is lighter, with finer streaking on back and 2 pronounced "whisker" marks (instead of 1). Has rufous crown divided by gray median stripe;...
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adult, Interior
Amphispiza belli
5-6" (13-15 cm). Gray above; white belly with small black midbreast spot. Back and sides striped, wings lighter with buff-colored feather edges that also form 2 wing bars. Pronounced white eye ring....
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adult
Ammodramus caudacutus
5 1/2" (14 cm). The combination of dark cap, gray ear patch, bright orange-buff triangular area on the face, and white streaks on the back distinguishes the Saltmarsh Sparrow from all other sparrows...
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adult (Ipswich Sparrow)
Passerculus sandwichensis
4 1/2-6" (11-15 cm). Pale and streaked, yellowish eyebrow and pinkish legs. Tail notched; other grassland sparrows have shorter, more pointed tails.
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adult, Atlantic
Ammodramus maritimus
6" (15 cm). A dark, gray-streaked salt-marsh sparrow with dull yellow "mustache" and dull yellow spot in front of the eye.
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adult male, breeding
Calcarius pictus
5 3/4-6 1/2" (15-17 cm). Sparrow-sized. Breeding male streaked dark brown and buff above, clear warm buff below; bold black and white head pattern. Small white wing patch, most evident in flight;...
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adult male, breeding
Plectrophenax nivalis
6-7 1/4" (15-18 cm). Sparrow-sized. Breeding male has black back with much white on head, underparts, wings, and tail. Female similar, but duller. Winter birds have brown on crown and upperparts,...
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