Grasshopper Sparrows

The Grasshopper Sparrows, Ammodramus savannarum, are small sparrows that were named from their calls which are reminiscent to those sounds make by grasshoppers.

Distribution / Range

They can be found in southern Canada, the United States, Mexico and Central America, Columbia, and Ecuador. 

Species from the north migrate to the southern United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

They inhabit grasslands and marshes.

Species population has rapidly declined in certain areas, including a 98% drop in New York State.

The species is also endangered in the Andes of Columbia and Ecuador.

Grasshopper Sparrow


They measure 10 – 14 cm in height and have a wingspan of about 17.5 cm.

Adults have upperparts streaked with brown, grey, black and white; they have a light brown breast, a white belly and a short brown tail.

The face is light brown with an eye ring and a dark brown crown with a central narrow light stripe.

There are regional variations in the appearance of this bird.

Diet / Feeding

They forage on the ground in vegetation, mainly eating insects, especially grasshoppers, and seeds.

Nesting / Breeding

They breed in open fields and prairie across southern Canada and the United States. Their open cup nests are well concealed on the ground under vegetation.

Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum

Call / Vocalization

Their calls are described as a buzz – similar to the sound made by grasshoppers.

Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum
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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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