- 5.1–6.3 in
- 9.4 in
- 0.7–1 oz
- Pinson vespéral; Bruant vespéral (French)
- Gorrión torito; Gorrión coliblanco; Semillero torito; Gorrión cola blanca (Spanish)
- The songs of neighboring Vesper Sparrows tend to be similar; between regions, songs tend to show consistent differences. These patterns suggest that Vesper Sparrows learn songs from adult Vesper Sparrows. In one documented case, a Vesper Sparrow apparently learned to sing like a Bewick's Wren.
- The Vesper Sparrow is the only member of its taxonomic genus. Based on analysis of morphology, plumage, and other factors, its closest relative is thought to be the Lark Sparrow.
- The Vesper Sparrow responds quickly to changes in habitat; it is often the first species to occupy reclaimed mine sites and abandon old farm fields as they return to forest.
Found in various open habitats with grass, including prairie, sagebrush steppe, meadows, pastures, and roadsides.
Seeds of grasses, weeds, and grain crops; also insects during the breeding season.
- Clutch Size
- 2–6 eggs
- Egg Description
- Whitish, with variable brown or purplish spots, streaks, and blotches.
- Condition at Hatching
- Helpless with sparse tufts of down.
A shallow cup of woven grasses, placed on the ground.
Scratches on the ground, sometimes using both feet.
Declining throughout range. Various farming practices, including use of chemicals, large-scale tillage, and early harvesting of hay, all contribute to these declines. Vesper Sparrow is listed as endangered, threatened, or of special conservation concern in several states.
- Jones, S. L., and J. E. Cornely. 2002. Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus). In The Birds of North America, No. 624 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.