Clay-colored sparrows can be a fairly common sight during the
summer in the northern tier of U.S. states. Males are easily observed as
they sing their buzzy song from a high perch in their territory. They can
sometimes be found in mixed flocks with Chipping
Sparrows or Brewer's Sparrows (western South Dakota only for the latter).
shrubby grasslands for breeding. This can also include woodland edges,
fence lines, and the shrubby understory of forest areas. They also prefer
brushy areas during migration and in winter.
Diet: The major diet item is seeds, which it consumes in
quantity at all seasons. Other vegetative matter includes berries, fruits,
leaf-buds, and new shoots. They also feed heavily on insects during the
Behavior: Does most of its foraging on the ground
or low in shrubbery and other vegetation.
Nesting: June and July
Song: Series of three to
five identical raspy buzzes.
Migration: Summers in the northern tier of U.S. states, and southern Canada. Winters
in the southern tip of Texas and points south.
Bird Feeders: Will attend feeders for grains,
seeds, and breadcrumbs.
Conservation Status: Surveys hint at a slight
decline in recent decades. Reasons are unknown, but they are a fairly
common victim of Brown-headed Cowbird
Photo Information: October 7th, 2006 -
Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls -
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Clay-colored Sparrow photos.