Le Conte’s Sparrow

The Le Conte’s Sparrow (Ammodramus leconteii) is a small sparrow with streaked dark and light brown upperparts and a light brown breast. Their belly is white and they have fine streaks on their sides. They have a large flat head with a light crown stripe on a dark crown, an orange face with a grey cheek patch. Their large bill is dark and their tail short.

Their breeding habitat is moist grassland across central Canada to Quebec and central northern United States. The nest is an open cup which they attach to dead grass, and sometimes on the ground.

These birds migrate to the southeastern United States.

They forage on the ground in dense grass, and eat mainly insects and seeds.

The male sings from a concealed location. The song is a sharp tik followed by a hiss similar to the song of Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow.

John James Audubon named this bird after a friend, Doctor LeConte. It is generally believed that he meant John Lawrence LeConte, although some feel that he was referring to another John LeConte, also a doctor.