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Passeriformes > Passerellidae

Nelson's Sparrow

Ammospiza nelsoni

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Identification

POWERED BY MERLIN

This bright sparrow has multiple disjunct populations; inland breeders are generally brighter than coastal breeders. Atlantic birds have a duller buffy face and breast with blurry gray streaking; Interior birds are brighter orange with crisper black streaking. Similar to Saltmarsh Sparrow but shows less contrast between the face, throat, and breast and has a shorter blue-gray bill. Inland birds can be confused with Le Conte's Sparrow but note clean gray nape and gray, not white, stripe in crown. Conspicuous when singing, otherwise secretive. Its song is a simple hiss like water sizzling in a frying pan. Winters in coastal marshes along most of Atlantic seaboard and Gulf Coast.

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Learn more about Nelson's Sparrow from…

All About Birds

Your Online Guide To Birds And Bird Watching

Birds of North America

Comprehensive life histories of North American breeding birds

Neotropical Birds

Life histories of all species breeding in Mexico, Central America, and South America