Brewer’s Sparrow

The Brewer’s Sparrow, Spizella breweri, is a small, slim sparrow. There are two distinct populations of this bird. Spizella breweri breweri is found in brushy areas in southern parts of western Canada and in the western United States. Spizella breweri taverneri is found in thicketed areas in the Rockies of northern British Columbia, the southern Yukon and southeastern Alaska.

Adults have gray-brown backs and brown crowns, both with dark streaks, and a pale eye-ring. Their wings are brown with light wing bars. The under parts are pale gray, the bill is pale with a dark tip, and they have a long notched tail. They are similar in appearance to the Clay-colored Sparrow but lack the pale stripe on the crown and the gray neck patch.

The female lays three to four eggs in a nest cup in low shrubs. The male sings to defend the nesting territory. They forage on the ground or in low vegetation. Their diet consists mainly of insects in the summer and seeds in the winter. They usually forage in flocks outside the breeding season and migrate to the southwestern United States and central Mexico in winter.

This bird was named after the ornithologist Thomas Mayo Brewer.