Vesper SparrowPooecetes gramineus
- ORDER: Passeriformes
- FAMILY: Passerellidae
The Vesper Sparrow inhabits grasslands and fields across much of the northern United States and Canada. This streaky brown sparrow has a thin white eyering and flashes white tail feathers in flight; two features unique to the Vesper Sparrow. Although its most characteristic feature is a small chestnut patch on the shoulder, it's often hidden from view. As its name suggests, it frequently sings in the twilight of vespers—a sweet series of musical slurs and trills.More ID Info
Find This Bird
This little brown job (LBJ) might be a bit easier to see than its other LBJ friends. Vesper Sparrows are less shy and frequently sing from elevated perches or forage out in the open. Because of their propensity to sing at twilight, a trip to an open grassy area at dusk during the breeding season is a good time to go looking for them. Scan tops of shrubs and fence posts for a perched sparrow in full song.
- Chingolo Coliblanco (Spanish)
- Bruant vespéral (French)
- Cool Facts
- Vesper Sparrows sing a sweet tinkling song during the day and well into the evening hours—the twilight of vespers, prompting its name.
- The Vesper Sparrow is the only member of its taxonomic genus—Pooecetes, meaning grass dweller. 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 bird species to occupy reclaimed mine sites and abandon old farm fields as they revert 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.