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Bachman's Sparrow

Silhouette SparrowsSparrows
Bachman's SparrowPeucaea aestivalis
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Passerellidae

Basic Description

The grassy pine woodlands in the southeastern United States are home to a secretive and little-known sparrow that occurs nowhere else in the world. The brownish gray and rusty Bachman's Sparrow sports a long, rounded tail and a heavy, round bill. This pinewood sparrow hops through open and grassy understories, but once these areas start to get cramped with shrubs in the absence of fire, they take off. This Partners in Flight Red Watch List species has a sharply declining population due in part to fire suppression and logging schedules.

More ID Info
image of range map for Bachman's Sparrow
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Bachman's Sparrows are understory birds, but they are rather secretive. Getting a good look means heading out early in the breeding season (as early as February) when males are more likely to be singing from low shrubs and lower branches of pines, making them easier to spot. Listen for a single whistle followed by a rapid trill. They may sing from the same perch for several minutes, so you'll have plenty of time to find them. They often occur in areas that also support Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. Look for pine forests with a grassy understory, well-spaced trees, and little to no shrubs.

Other Names

  • Chingolo de Bachman (Spanish)
  • Bruant des pinèdes (French)
  • Cool Facts