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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

Botteri's Sparrow -- Aimophila botterii


RANGE: Breeds from southeastern Arizona and extreme southern Texas south to Costa Rica. Winters from northern Mexico south throughout the breeding range.

STATUS: Rare and local.

HABITAT: Only inhabits areas with dense, tall grass, breeding in open grassland and savannah, especially in areas with scattered brush or shrubs. Favors tall grass habitats with mesquite and catclaw in Arizona; prefers salt-grass with some yucca, pricklypear, and mesquite in the coastal prairies of Texas.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Open grassland with scattered shrubs or small trees.

NEST: Builds nest on the ground among tall grasses, at the base of a tuft of grass, or sometimes under a projecting mat of grass.

FOOD: Primarily eats insects but also spiders and seeds.

REFERENCES: Cottam and Knappen 1939, Monson in Bent 1968b, Oberholser 1974b, Terrill in Farrand 1983c.


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