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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Saltmarsh Sparrow

Ammodramus caudacutus ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: EMBERIZIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Vulnerable

A secretive bird with skulking habits and a barely audible song, the Saltmarsh Sparrow is restricted to salt marshes of the Atlantic and upper Gulf coasts.

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Be a Better Birder Tutorial 4

Appearance

Sparrows
Sparrows
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Small, stocky songbird.
  • Orange-yellow face.
  • Gray ear patch.
  • Streaked breast and flanks.
  • Short, rounded tail with pointed tail feathers.

Immature Description

Juvenile rich buffy across face and chest, chest and flanks with dark streaks.

Range Map Help

Saltmarsh Sparrow Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

Field MarksHelp

  • Adult

    Saltmarsh Sparrow

    Adult
    • © 2004 Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Back Bay NWR, Virginia

Similar Species

  • Nelson's Sparrow very similar, but has more buffy chest with blurry dark streaks; coastal form lacks white stripes down back.
  • Seaside Sparrow larger, grayer, less strongly marked, with small yellow patch in front of eyes.
  • Savannah Sparrow has striped head and notched tail.
  • Le Conte's Sparrow with white central crown stripe, purplish spots and streaks on nape, and small grayish face patch.