Brewer's Sparrow

Silhouette SparrowsSparrows

Brewer's Sparrow

Spizella breweri
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Passerellidae
Basic Description

Brewer’s Sparrows are at first glance so subtly marked that they’ve been called the “bird without a field mark.” These streaky, gray-brown sparrows are notable for their reliance on sagebrush breeding habitat, and their plumage is elegantly tuned to their muted, gray-green home. They’re the most abundant bird across the vast sagebrush steppe, and their long, trilling songs are a signature sound of the landscape. A markedly different subspecies lives among the stunted trees and shrubs at timberline in Canadian mountains.

More ID Info
image of range map for Brewer's SparrowRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

Brewer’s Sparrows are habitat specialists, so the first step in finding them is to find their habitat. In spring or early summer, head out into the sagebrush early in the morning and listen for a male to sing his long, trilled song. You may also spot a small, gray-brown bird unobtrusively foraging within or on the ground below a clump of sagebrush. In winter, visit desert grasslands, where there are sometimes large flocks of several species of sparrows, including Brewer’s.

Other Names
  • Chingolo de Brewer (Spanish)
  • Bruant de Brewer (French)
  • Cool Facts