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Henslow's Sparrow

Silhouette SparrowsSparrows
Henslow's SparrowCentronyx henslowii
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Passerellidae

Basic Description

The Henslow’s Sparrow is an easy-to-overlook bird with an almost nonexistent song and a preference for thick, weedy grasslands and wetlands. Its subtle, streaky plumage is worth getting a good look at, though: A mix of tan and buff, with a greenish-washed face the color of a summer hayfield, and sharp black stripes that look drawn on by a freshly sharpened pencil. Henslow’s Sparrows have suffered from conversion of their native grassland habitat for agriculture, but focused conservation efforts have allowed them to rebound in some areas.

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

Henslow’s Sparrows live among dense grasses and spend much of their time on the ground, so they can be a tough bird to find. While the short, insectlike song does not stand out in any way, it’s still the best way to zero in on this species in their habitat of wet weedy pastures. Watch closely and try to spot them sitting just below the tops of grass stalks and small shrubs, giving the impression of a particularly plump cluster of grass seeds.

Other Names

  • Chingolo de Henslow (Spanish)
  • Bruant de Henslow (French)
  • Cool Facts