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Saltmarsh Sparrow


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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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.

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Saltmarsh Sparrow Range Map
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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.