Bachmans Sparrow (Aimophila aestivalis)

Bachmans Sparrow

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Emberizidae | [latin] Aimophila aestivalis | [UK] Bachmans Sparrow | [FR] Bruant des pinedes | [DE] Bachmanammer | [ES] Chingolo de Bachman | [NL] Dennegors


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Aimophila aestivalis NA se USA
Aimophila aestivalis aestivalis
Aimophila aestivalis bachmani
Aimophila aestivalis illinoensis

Physical charateristics

In dry open woods of the South, this shy sparrow flushes reluctantly, then drops back into the brush, where it plays hide-and-seek. A glimpse shows it to be striped with reddish brown above and washed with dingy buff across its plain breast.

Listen to the sound of Bachmans Sparrow

[audio: Sparrow.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 20 cm wingspan max.: 21 cm
size min.: 15 cm size max.: 16 cm
incubation min.: 12 days incubation max.: 14 days
fledging min.: 9 days fledging max.: 10 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


North America : Southeast USA


Open pine or oak woods, palmetto scrub, bushy pastures.
Favors relatively open grassy areas. Historically was most common in understory of mature pine forest, where frequent fires limited the amount of brush; as mature forest has become scarce, more Bachma
n’s Sparrows are found in clearcuts, power line rights-of-way, old pastures, and other open areas.


In southern areas, members of a pair may remain together at all seasons. Beginning in early spring, male sings to defend nesting territory.
Site is almost always on the ground, typically placed at the base of a shrub, clump of grass, or palmetto. Occasionally placed a few inches above the ground, within the base of a weed or grass clump. Nest (built by female) is an open cup made of grass, w
eeds, rootlets, lined with fine grass and animal hair. Often has a domed top of woven grasses at least partially covering nest.
Eggs: 3-4, sometimes 2-5. White, unmarked. Incubation is by female only, about 12-14 days.
Young: Both parents bring food to the nestlings. Young leave the nest about 9-10 days after hatching. 1-2 broods per year, perhaps rarely 3.

Feeding habits

Mostly seeds and insects.
Diet is not known in detail. In summer, majority of diet apparently is insects, especially beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, also other insects and spiders. Also eats many seeds, particularly those of grasses; seeds may be especially important in diet
in winter.
Behavior: Forages almost entirely on the ground, moving rather slowly in a limited area. Picks up items from ground or jumps up to take items from low vegetation.


This species has declined steadily at a moderately rapid rate. However, the rate of decline has slowed and although the species is described as rare it may soon warrant downlisting. At present it remains classified as Near Threatened.
Bachmans Sparrow status Near Threatened


Southeastern United
States. Local; disappearing from northern parts of its range.

Distribution map

Bachmans Sparrow distribution range map

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