Olive SparrowArremonops rufivirgatus

adult
Greg Lasley/VIREO
adult
Greg Lasley/VIREO
Olive Sparrow

Description

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.

Voice

Series of musical chips, becoming more rapid at the end.

Listen

calls & song fragments
alarm chips
songtype #1
songtype #2

Habitat

Brushy areas, woodland borders and clearings, and overgrown fields.

Range

Resident in lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

Discussion

Flitting from shrub to shrub and skulking about the undergrowth, this unobtrusive, drab little bird is seldom seen out in the open. Nevertheless, it may be readily observed when it sings from an exposed perch or engages in nesting activities. It feeds on seeds, small larvae, and grubs.

Nesting

4 white eggs in a domed nest made of twigs, grass, and leaves, placed low in a shrub or cactus.

Similar Species

adult

Worm-eating Warbler

5 1/2" (14 cm). Sparrow-sized. Plain brownish above and below, with conspicuous dark and light crown stripes. Sexes look alike.

adult

Abert's Towhee

8-9" (20-23 cm). Grayish brown above; slightly paler underparts, with buffy belly and tawny undertail. Black facial patch surrounds pale bill.

adult

Green-tailed Towhee

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.

adult

California Towhee

8-10" (20-25 cm). Uniform gray-brown above and below, with buff or rust-colored undertail coverts.

adult

Canyon Towhee

8-10" (20-25 cm). Upperparts gray-brown, with paler buff throat, buff undertail coverts, and rusty crown. There is a dark spot in center of breast.

Vireo

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