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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Bachman's Sparrow -- Aimophila aestivalis

RANGE: Breeds from south-central Missouri and central Indiana to central Maryland, south to eastern Texas, the Gulf Coast, and south-central Florida. Winters from eastern Texas, the Gulf States, and southeastern North Carolina south through the breeding range.

STATUS: Uncommon and local, with the population down over most of its range.

HABITAT: Generally favors brushy hillsides or wooded borders in the northern part of its range, and open pine stands with grasses and scattered shrubs, oaks, or other hardwoods in more southern areas. Inhabits pine barrens in South Carolina, grassy fields in Mississippi, grasslands with scattered young pines and blackberry thickets in Oklahoma, open pine stands in Florida, and limestone glades in Missouri.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Dense herbaceous cover interspersed with, or bordered by, shrubs and trees.

NEST: Constructs a well-concealed nest (open or domed) on the ground, usually under a low bush or against a tussock of grass, and often located at the outer edges of grass clumps in slight depressions, with a clear view in front of the nest.

FOOD: Forages on the ground primarily for insects and spiders, but also consumes seeds of a variety of plants.

REFERENCES: Hardin et al. 1982, Johnsgard 1979, Tate and Tate 1982, Weston in Bent 1968b.

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