Family New World Sparrows (Passerellidae)

Least Concern

Stripe-headed Sparrow (Peucaea ruficauda)


French: Bruant ligné German: Rostschwanzammer Spanish: Chingolo cabecilistado

Chondestes ruficauda


, 1853,



Proposed race ibarrorum (described from La Avellana, in Guatemalan Southern Pacific lowlands) included in ruficauda. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. r. acuminata (Salvin & Godman, 1886) – Pacific slope of Mexico from S Durango and S Zacatecas S to SE Guerrero, E to Morelos and S Puebla.
  • P. r. lawrencii (Salvin & Godman, 1886) – S side of Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca and extreme W Chiapas, in S Mexico.
  • P. r. connectens (Griscom, 1930) – valley of R Motagua, in E Guatemala.
  • P. r. ruficauda (Bonaparte, 1853) – Pacific slope from SE Guatemala S to NW Costa Rica.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–19·5 cm; 25·4–30·4 g (acuminata), 31·5–44·7 g (lawrencii). Medium-sized to fairly large sparrow, larger in S than in N. Nominate race has crown and side... read more


    Song a continuous jumble of high squeaky notes, perhaps accelerated with excitement; mates greet... read more


    Xeric grasslands with scattered trees dominated by legumes; on rocky slopes, brushy fence rows and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Principally seeds, small insects, spiders (Araneae), and fruits; feeds young with insects. Usually forages on ground, but also low in... read more


    Season Apr–Nov, sometimes later on coast than inland; probably double-brooded. Co-operative breeder, up to seven individuals attend nest.... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common; often common or very common in appropriate habitat. Somewhat more local in interior.

    Recommended citation

    Rising, J. (2020). Stripe-headed Sparrow (Peucaea ruficauda). 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 28 February 2020).