Living Bird Magazine
Vesper SparrowPooecetes gramineus
- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Passerellidae
A large sparrow, the Vesper Sparrow inhabits grasslands and fields across much of the north-central United States and Canada. As its name suggests, it often sings in the evening twilight, though it sings actively in early morning as well.More ID Info
- Gorrión Cola Blanca (Spanish)
- Bruant vespéral (French)
- Cool Facts
- 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.
- The oldest recorded Vesper Sparrow was a male, and at least 7 years, 1 month old, when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Colorado.