Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Sparrows of North Dakota
7. LeConte's Sparrow
One of the smallest sparrows. Has a similar appearance to the Nelson's Sharp-tailed
sparrow but a narrow central white stripe down the middle of the head rather
than a gray stripe as in the Nelson's sharp-tailed. Sides of head are a yellowish-orange,
with a wide orange eyebrow and a grayish cheek patch. Light brownish-orange
with a streaked breast with dark streaks and a white belly. Yellow-brown throat.
Sexes alike. Prefers wet meadows and marshes with dense sedges and grasses of
northern and eastern North Dakota. Is secretive and difficult to flush because
of its habit of running along the ground. Song is an insect like buzz. Feeds
along the ground on seeds of weeds and grasses and insects during the summer.
Nests within a foot of the ground in drier parts of a wetland beneath dead cattails,
bulrushes and other vegetation. Nest built of grasses woven around standing
stems. Populations are variable and much more common in wet years.
- Ammodramus leconteii
- Length-5 inches
- BREEDING SPECIES
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