Botteri's Sparrow Life History


Habitat GrasslandsGrassland and coastal prairie, with some interspersed shrubs and trees. Prefers tall grasses for nesting.Back to top


Food InsectsInsects, especially grasshoppers; also seeds.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nest Description

Nest includes an outer cup, a fine inner lining, and an attached entryway; built on the ground in clumps of grass.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:2-5 eggs
Egg Description:White and unmarked.
Condition at Hatching:Helpless with tufts of gray down.
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Behavior Ground ForagerFeeds on the ground. Hops and flies after grasshoppers, then picks exhausted prey with bill.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernPopulation of Arizona subspecies of Botteri's Sparrow appears stable. Similarly, prospects are rather good for Botteri's Sparrow in Texas, since most breeding habitat there is now protected. In Mexico, however, degradation of coastal prairie habitat has led to a very poor outlook for the species in these areas. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 200,000, with 2% living in the U.S., and 95% in Mexico. They rate a 13 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Back to top


North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

Webb, Elizabeth A. and Carl E. Bock. (2012). Botteri's Sparrow (Peucaea botterii), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

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