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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

Le Conte's Sparrow -- Ammodramus leconteii

RANGE: Breeds from east-central British Columbia, southern Mackenzie, and northern Saskatchewan to west-central Montana, northern North Dakota, and northern Michigan. Winters from west-central Kansas, southern Illinois, central Alabama, and South Carolina south to Texas, the Gulf Coast, and southeastern Georgia.

STATUS: Common.

HABITAT: Inhabits damp, grass-grown clearings, shallow prairie marshes, tall moist grasslands, sedge marshes often surrounded by bog, and open fens in boreal forests. Prefers hummocky alkaline wetlands.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Moist habitats with dense herbaceous vegetation.

NEST: Builds a well-concealed nest on or near the ground in the luxuriant growth of drier borders of open wetlands, usually of grasses interwoven among standing plant stems, generally in dense vegetation beneath tangles of old dead rushes, grasses, or sedges.

FOOD: Primarily eats insects during summer, but consumes mainly the seeds of weeds and grasses at other times. Gleans both insects and seeds from marsh plants. (Little is known about the food habits of this species.)

REFERENCES: Forbush and May 1955, Easterla 1962, Johnsgard 1979, Murray 1969, Walkinshaw in Bent 1968b.

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