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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.


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

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.



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