Family New World Sparrows (Passerellidae)

Least Concern

Grassland Sparrow (Ammodramus humeralis)


French: Bruant des savanes German: Wachtelammer Spanish: Chingolo pajonalero

Tanagra humeralis


, 1792,

Cayenne, French Guiana


Along with A. aurifrons, formerly separated in Myospiza. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. h. pallidulus (Wetmore, 1949) – Guajira Peninsula of N Colombia and NW Venezuela.
  • A. h. humeralis (Bosc, 1792) – Colombia and Venezuela (except Guajira Peninsula), and the Guianas E to E Brazil (S to Paraná).
  • A. h. xanthornus Gould, 1839 – C & SE Peru (Cerros del Sira#R, Pampas del Heath) and NE Bolivia E through SC Brazil to Paraguay and Uruguay and S to C Argentina (Río Negro).
  • A. h. tarijensis (J. Bond & Meyer de Schauensee, 1939) – SE Bolivia (Santa Cruz, Tarija and Chuquisaca).
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; 13–19 g. A short-tailed and large-headed sparrow with medium-sized bill, relatively long legs and large feet, and short wing, primaries entirely hidden by... read more


    Song, from tall stalk or, more commonly, fence post or shrub, plaintive, musical and sweet, though... read more


    Variety of grassland, from tall grassland to savanna, campos and cerrado of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet seeds and insects, latter particularly during breeding season. Forages exclusively on ground. Adults specialize on grass seeds, and... read more


    Season Apr–Aug in N and Sept–Feb in S. Cup-shaped nest placed on ground, with runway leading to it through grass; sometimes... read more


    Resident in much of range; possibly short-distance migrant in C Argentina.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common throughout most of extensive range. Preference for a variety of grassy and open habitats makes this a low-sensitivity species, and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Jaramillo, A. (2020). Grassland Sparrow (Ammodramus humeralis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 February 2020).