Family New World Sparrows (Passerellidae)


Sierra Madre Sparrow (Xenospiza baileyi)


French: Bruant des sierras German: Sierraammer Spanish: Chingolo serrano

Xenospiza baileyi


, 1931,

Bolaños, Jalisco, Mexico




C Mexico, where now restricted to two isolated areas: Distrito Federal (centred around La Cima and Milpa Alta, near Mexico City); and S Durango (Ejido Ojo de Agua–El Cazador).

Descriptive notes

14–15·2 cm; 15·8–19 g. Medium-sized sparrow with very short wings. Plumage is brownish above, washed with rufous and streaked with dark brown, crown... read more


Song often begins with 2, 3 or as many as 4 or 5 rapid notes, these followed (as in song of ... read more


Pine (Pinus) savanna at 2285–3050 m, mostly above 2800 m. Found in medium and tall... read more

Food and feeding

Observed to feed on moths and caterpillars (Lepidoptera), flying ants (Formicidae), earthworms (Lumbricidae), and grass seed. Stomach of... read more


Eggs and young found in Jun and Jul, nest with young in Aug, and juveniles recorded Aug and Sept. Nest built by female, taking 2–4... read more


Apparently sedentary; possible short-distance post-breeding dispersal.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Sierra Madre Occidental and trans-Mexican range EBA. Locally common; has very small range, within which populations appear to... read more

Recommended citation

Rising, J. (2020). Sierra Madre Sparrow (Xenospiza baileyi). 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 17 February 2020).