French: Bruant de Nelson German: Nelsonammer Spanish: Chingolo de Nelson
Ammodromus [sic] caudacutus nelsoni
J. A. Allen
Calumet Marshes, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Subspecies and Distribution
A. n. nelsoni
(J. A. Allen, 1875) – Inland Nelson's Sparrow – Canada from NE British Columbia and S Mackenzie SE through Alberta to C & S Saskatchewan and C Manitoba, and in N USA in N, W & SE North Dakota, NE South Dakota and NW Minnesota; winters on Pacific coast of SW USA (California) and in extreme NW Mexico (N Baja California) and on Gulf Coast from Texas E to Florida Panhandle, also rarely S to Tamaulipas (NE Mexico).
A. n. altera
Todd, 1938 – EC Canada from N Manitoba E to N Ontario and W Quebec; probably winters on Gulf Coast of USA (W to Texas).
A. n. subvirgata
(Dwight, 1887) – Atlantic Nelson's Sparrow – SE Canada (S side of St Lawrence R in S Quebec E to New Brunswick, Prince Edward I and Nova Scotia), and in NE USA S to S Maine and N Massachusetts; non-breeding on Atlantic coast S to South Carolina and N Florida, casually N to New York.
11–13·5 cm; 12·8–20 g. A fairly small sparrow, short tail having spike-like rectrices. Nominate race has broad grey median crownstripe (not sharply... read more
Song, often in aerial display and often at night, likened to sound made by water dropping on to a... read more
Breeds in wet freshwater grasslands, sometimes mixed with cat-tail (Typha) and ... read more
Food and feeding
In breeding season feeds almost exclusively on animal material, especially larval insects, spiders (Araneae) and amphipods, augmented with... read more
Season late May to mid-Aug; race subvirgata sometimes double-brooded. Promiscuous and non-territorial; does not form pair bonds.... read more
Migratory. Very difficult to detect during migration, and much remains to be learnt regarding... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Classified as “Rare” in the USA (Yellow WatchList priority species for conservation). Often common locally in appropriate... read more
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