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Seaside Sparrow Life History


Habitat MarshesSalt marshes, especially spartina grass, rushes, and tidal reeds; "Cape Sable" Seaside Sparrow in marsh prairie.Back to top


Food InsectsSeeds, insects, spiders, marine invertebrates.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Shrub

Nest Description

Open cup of grass stems and blades, lined with finer grass blades and sometimes built up on sides to form partial covering.

Nesting Facts

Clutch Size:2-5 eggs
Egg Description:Bluish white to grayish white, speckled and blotched with shades of brown, often more heavily on larger end.
Condition at Hatching:Helpless.
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Behavior Ground ForagerWalks on ground and gleans prey from surrounding vegetation; probes with bill in mud.Back to top


Conservation Restricted RangeSeaside Sparrow are common overall, most populations were stable between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Other populations are declining and vulnerable. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 160,000, with 100% living in the U.S. The species rates a 13 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. The Cape Sable population of Seaside Sparrow in southern Florida is endangered and is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action. "Dusky" Seaside Sparrow went extinct in the 1980s. Back to top


Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. (2019). Longevity records of North American birds. Version 1019 Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2019.

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.

Post, W. and J. S. Greenlaw. (2009). Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.

Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center (2014b). Available from

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

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