Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Sparrows of North Dakota
1. Vesper Sparrow
Brown and whitish mottled appearance especially on upper breast, head and back.
Has distinguishing white eye ring. Brown cheek patch and whitish-gray belly.
Notched tail with white outer edges of feathers. Could be confused with Savannah
sparrow except is lacking prominent yellowish-white eyebrow. Most have a little
chestnut shoulder patch. Prefers dry uplands and short grasslands or meadows
with sparse cover. Common throughout North Dakota. Feeds on grasshoppers, beetles,
worms and moths as it runs across the ground. Also eats a large quantity of
weed seeds. Nests on the ground under patches of dead weed stems, in alfalfa
fields, or in previous year's residual crop.
- Pooecetes gramineus
- Length-6 1/4 inches
- BREEDING SPECIES
Previous Sparrow -- Brewer's Sparrow (Spizella breweri)
Return to Sparrow List
Next Sparrow -- Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)