French: Bruant ardoisé German: Schieferammer Spanish: Chingolo pizarroso
S. F. Baird
“Head of the Platte” = south fork of Platte River, about 25 miles [c. 40 km] east of north-eastern corner of Colorado, in Nebraska, USA
Subspecies and Distribution
P. s. olivacea
Aldrich, 1943 – SW Canada (SC & SW British Columbia) S to NW USA (C & E Washington); non-breeding in SW USA (interior California) and extreme NW Mexico (N Baja California).
P. s. altivagans
Riley, 1911 – interior C & SE British Columbia and SW Alberta; non-breeding principally SW USA (Cascades and Sierra Nevada, in California, and SW Arizona) and extreme NW Mexico (NW Baja California).
P. s. schistacea
S. F. Baird, 1858 – extreme S Canada (extreme SE British Columbia and SC Alberta) S in USA through NC & E Oregon and N Idaho to NC & NE Nevada, E to W Montana, SW Wyoming and C Colorado; non-breeding in interior of N California, C Arizona and N New Mexico S to N Baja California, S Arizona and W Texas.
P. s. swarthi
Behle & Selander, 1951 – W USA (SE Idaho and NW Utah).
P. s. fulva
Swarth, 1918 – W USA (E side of Cascade Range in C Oregon S to Modoc Plateau, in NE California); non-breeding in SW California and N Baja California.
P. s. canescens
Swarth, 1918 – C Nevada and extreme CE California (White Mts); non-breeding in S California, N Baja California and S Arizona.
15–18 cm; 26–35 g. Large sparrow with relatively long tail. Nominate race has head slate-coloured, pale lores, whitish submoustachial stripe with dark streaks;... read more
Song clear and ringing, starting with 2–3 syllables on different pitches, “too-wheet-... read more
Breeds in impenetrable riparian thickets of mountain meadows, with alder (Alnus), water... read more
Food and feeding
In breeding season primarily insects, e.g. beetles (Coleoptera), probably also other invertebrates, seeds and berries when available. In... read more
Season mid-May to mid-Jul; probably single-brooded. Probably monogamous. Nest construction requires two days; nest made from dry grass,... read more
Most populations migratory, spending non-breeding season in interior of California, C Arizona and... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened. Fairly common throughout its range in suitable habitat. No indication of any change or reduction in numbers.
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