- 4.3–5.1 in
- 7.9 in
- 0.7–0.7 oz
- Sharp-tailed Sparrow (in part)
- Bruant de Nelson (French)
- The Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow formerly was considered the same species as the Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow, collectively known as the Sharp-tailed Sparrow. The two forms have separate breeding ranges that barely overlap in Maine. They differ in genetics, songs, and subtle plumage characters.
- The oldest recorded Nelson's Sparrow was a male, and at least 7 years, 1 month old, when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Maine.
Freshwater marshes and wet meadows in interior and brackish marshes along coast; in winter in salt and brackish marshes.
Insects, spiders, snails, and seeds.
- Clutch Size
- 2–6 eggs
- Egg Description
- Greenish, covered with dark speckles.
- Condition at Hatching
Open cup of grass stems and blades, lined with finer grass blades and sometimes built up on sides to form partial covering.
Forages on ground in dense grass or edges of shallow pools.
Nelson's Sparrows are relatively common and numbers increased between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 1.1 million with 100% spending part of the year in the U.S., and 87% in Canada. They are a U.S.-Canada Stewardship species and rate a 13 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. Nelson's Sparrow are not listed in the 2014 State of the Birds Report.