Rufous-crowned sparrow

Ammodramus ruficeps

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The Rufous-crowned sparrow is classified as Least Concern. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

The Rufous-crowned Sparrow is an uncommon year-round, breeding resident on campus within the CSUSB Preserve. It is easiest to locate in spring when the males are singing. It is an uncommon, year-round breeding resident in coastal sage scrub habitats in southern California. Rufous-crowned Sparrows are mostly gray, with a white eye ring, rufous crown, post-ocular stripe, and streaking on the back, and brownish wings and tail. More

Rufous-crowned Sparrow is a locally common resident of dry hillsides and canyons of the southwestern United States and Mexico. Its shy, secretive habits and predilection for inaccessible, rocky, brush-covered slopes make this species difficult to observe and study, although it has an unmistakable scolding, nasal call and males often sing from prominent perches. For the most part, the Rufous-crowned Sparrow is a resident species. More

The Rufous-crowned Sparrow is a year-round resident of Wise County. However, it is easiest to locate it while it’s singing. Overall, this sparrow is a dull gray brown with light streaking on the back. It has rufous lateral crown stripes, a rufous eye stripe and a dark gray bill. It also has a whitish malar and dark lateral throat stripes. Immature White-crowned Sparrows with brown crowns sometimes may be mistaken for Rufous-crowned Sparrows. More

The Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Aimophila ruficeps, is a smallish American sparrow. This passerine is primarily found across the Southwestern United States and much of the interior of Mexico, south to the transverse mountain range, and to the Pacific coast to the southwest of the transverse range. It distribution is patchy, with populations often being isolated from each other. Twelve subspecies are generally recognized, though up to eighteen have been suggested. This bird has a brown back with darker streaks and gray underparts. More

The Rufous-crowned Sparrow has a large range, estimated globally at 1,200,000 square kilometers. Native to the United States and Mexico, this bird prefers subtropical or tropical shrubland, grassland, or forest ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 2,400,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Rufous-crowned Sparrow is Least Concern. More

Rufous-crowned sparrows are much less common in fragmented patches of habitat than in large, intact areas. To find out why rufous-crowned sparrows were declining in smaller patches, Scott Morrison of The Nature Conservancy and Douglas Bolger of Dartmouth College investigated a likely culprit: reduced nesting success in fragmented habitat. But surprisingly, nesting success did not differ between large expanses of coastal sage scrub and habitat fragments adjacent to urban areas. More

Rufous-crowned Sparrow: Feeds on insects and seeds; forages by walking or hopping slowly on the ground or in low bushes, often feeds in pairs or small family groups. Readily Eats Sunflower Seed, Commercial Mixed Bird Seed Vocalization Rufous-crowned Sparrow: Song is a series of quick, gurgling "chip-chip" notes, accelerating at the end. Call is an abrasive "deer. More

● Similar species: Rufous-winged Sparrow: Rufous-crowned Sparrow has rufous crown, single moustache stripe, gray-brown upperparts with rufous streaks, distinct white eye-ring, and lacks rufous shoulder patch. Flight Pattern Short flights on rapidly beating wings alternating with brief periods of wings pulled to sides. Rufous-winged Sparrow Breeding Male Body Illustration● Range & Habitat: Rufous-winged Sparrow: Resident in south-central Arizona. Prefers grasslands mixed with thorn bushes, mesquite trees, or cholla patches. More

Rufous-crowned Sparrow 22 - Travis Co, TX - June Rufous-crowned Sparrow 23 - Travis Co, TX - June Rufous-crowned Sparrow 1 - Travis Co, TX - June Rufous-crowned Sparrow 20 - Travis Co, TX - June Rufous-crowned Sparrow 19 - Travis Co, TX - June Rufous-crowned Sparrow 18 - Travis Co, TX - June Rufous-crowned Sparrow 17 - Travis Co, TX - June Rufous-crowned Sparrow 16 - Travis Co, TX - June Rufous-crowned More

* Rufous-crowned Sparrow is larger, with gray bill, solid rufous cap, and one stripe on the lower face instead of two. More

The Rufous-crowned Sparrow was described in 1852 by American ornithologist John Cassin as Ammodramus ruficeps. It has also been described as belonging to the genus Peucaea, which contains several sparrows in the genus Aimophila that share characteristics, such as a larger bill and a patch of yellow under the bend of the wing, that other members of the genus do not. However, splitting the Peucaea sparrows into a separate genus is not generally recognized. More

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; rufous eye line and shoulder patch. Unstreaked whitish below, with light wing bars and rounded tail. Juveniles lack rufous markings and wing bars but display double "whiskers" and finely streaked, light brown upper breast and sides. More

The Rufous-crowned Sparrow is a smallish sparrow at 5.25 inches (13.0 cm) in length, with males tending to be larger than females. It ranges from 15 to 23 grams (0.53 to 0.81 oz) in weight and averages about 19 grams (0.67 oz). It has a brown back with darker streaks and gray underparts. Its wings are short, rounded, and brown and lack wingbars, or a line of feathers of a contrasting color in the middle of the bird's wing. More

Discussion A secretive bird, the male Rufous-crowned Sparrow sings in the early morning from the tops of boulders in spring, but otherwise it is usually on the ground. If disturbed, it will fly to a nearby rock for a short survey, then return to the grass. More

The Rufous-crowned Sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps) is a resident of much on the American Southwest and parts of western Mexico. The shots shown here were taken at Caprocks Canyon State Park, Briscoe Co., Texas, in December, 1998, with a Canon EOS 1N and EF 600mm F/4 L lens and 1.4X extender on Fuji Sensia. The bird below was photographed in August, 1998, at Fort Davis, Jeff Davis Co., Texas, with the same equipment as the shots above. More

The Rufous-crowned Sparrow is a medium-sized sparrow at 5.25 inches (13.0 cm) in length. It has brown back with darker streaks and gray underparts. Its wings are brown and do not have wingbars. The sparrow's tail is long, brown, and rounded. The face and supercilium are gray with a brown or rufous steak extending from each eye and a thick black malar streak. This sparrow also has rusty crown which gives it its common name. The bill is yellow and conical shaped. More

The Rufous-crowned Sparrow is a bird of the chaparral belt, but, unlike the Wren-tit it lives exclusively in open stands of low bushes on the driest slopes. Such tracts are to be found on the sun-facing slopes at the heads of the smaller ravines. The bird is not known to us to occur in the dense brush at any time. These areas of dwarf chaparral are quite limited in extent in the Yosemite section and the Rufous-crowned Sparrows are restricted in like measure. More

Botteri's Sparrow | Rufous-crowned Sparrow | American Tree Sparrow | Chipping Sparrow | Clay-colored Sparrow | Brewer's Sparrow | Field Sparrow | Black-chinned Sparrow | Vesper Sparrow | Lark Sparrow | Black-throated Sparrow | Sage Sparrow | Lark Bunting | Savannah Sparrow | Grasshopper Sparrow | Baird's Sparrow | Henslow's Sparrow | LeConte's Sparrow | Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow | Seaside Sparrow | Fox Sparrow | Song Sparrow | Lincoln's Sparrow | Swamp Sparrow | White-throated Sparrow | Harris's Sparrow | White-crowned Sparrow | More

Inland, Rufous-crowned Sparrows could be found breeding from Shasta County south through the western Cascade and Sierra Nevada foothills, southwestern Kern County, and in Joshua Tree National Monument's Coxcomb Mountains. In southeastern California, populations were documented in the Granite, Providence, and New York Mountains of eastern San Bernardino County. Additionally, the subspecies A. r. obscura bred on Santa Cruz, Anacapa and Santa Catalina Islands off the coast of southern California (Grinnell and Miller 1944, Collins 1999). More

Picture of Aimophila ruficeps above has been licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike.
Original source: L. Shyamal
Author: L. Shyamal
Permission: Some rights reserved
Order : Passeriformes
Family : Emberizidae
Genus : Aimophila
Species : ruficeps
Authority : (Cassin, 1852)