Family New World Sparrows (Passerellidae)

Least Concern

Le Conte's Sparrow (Ammospiza leconteii)


French: Bruant de Le Conte German: Leconteammer Spanish: Chingolo de Le Conte

Emberiza leconteii


, 1844,

prairies of upper Missouri River = Fort Union, North Dakota, USA


Has hybridized with A. nelsoni. Monotypic.


Canada from SC Mackenzie (in Northwest Territories), Peace R lowlands of NE British Columbia and throughout lowlands of Alberta E to C Manitoba, N & E Ontario and locally S Quebec, S in USA to NW Montana, N South Dakota, S Minnesota and N Michigan; non-breeding S USA from C Kansas, S Illinois, C & S Missouri, W Tennessee and coastal South Carolina S to Gulf Coast (Texas E to W Florida).

Descriptive notes

10·5–12·5 cm; 10–16·3 g. A small sparrow with short tail, rectrices spike-like, and bright ochre supercilium. Has whitish median crownstripe... read more


Song a short insect-like “reese-reese”, “z-z-z-buzz” or “tzeek-tzzz-... read more


Breeds in moist to wet grasslands, sometimes mixed with cat-tail (Typha) and ... read more

Food and feeding

Little detailed information. Diet during breeding mainly adult and larval insects, also seeds; probably feeds young principally on insects... read more


In general, has been little studied, and breeding behaviour is not well known. Season late May to mid-Aug. Monogamous. Perhaps loosely... read more


Migratory. Difficult to observe and probably often overlooked; migration routes appear to be... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Classed as “Declining” in the USA (Yellow WatchList priority species for conservation). Often common in appropriate... read more

Recommended citation

Rising, J. (2020). Le Conte's Sparrow (Ammospiza leconteii). 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 23 February 2020).