Botteris Sparrow (Aimophila botterii)

Botteris Sparrow

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Emberizidae | [latin] Aimophila botterii | [UK] Botteris Sparrow | [FR] Bruant de Botteri | [DE] Botteriammer | [ES] Zacatonero De Botteri | [NL] Botteri’s Gors


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Aimophila botterii NA, MA sw USA to Costa Rica
Aimophila botterii arizonae
Aimophila botterii botterii
Aimophila botterii goldmani
Aimophila botterii mexicana
Aimophila botterii petenica
Aimophila botterii spadiconigrescens
Aimophila botterii texana
Aimophila botterii vantynei
Aimophila botterii vulcanica

Physical charateristics

Very local; nondescript. Cassin’s Sparrow, breeding in the same habitat, is almost identical, but grayer. Botteri’s has a buffy breast, plain brown tail. Best told by voice.

Listen to the sound of Botteris Sparrow

[audio: Sparrow.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 21 cm wingspan max.: 22 cm
size min.: 13 cm size max.: 16 cm
incubation min.: 12 days incubation max.: 14 days
fledging min.: 10 days fledging max.: 11 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 5  


North America, Middle America : Southwest USA to Costa Rica


Desert grassland, coastal prairie.
In our area, found mostly in drier grassland areas with relatively tall grass and scattered taller shrubs; mainly desert grassland in Arizona, coastal prairie in Texas. Avoids true desert and heavily grazed areas. Farther south in Mexico and Central Amer
ica, also found on dry scrub areas, overgrazed pastures, and open savanna.


Nesting activity is mostly in early summer in Texas, mostly in late summer (after onset of summer rainy season) in Arizona. Male sings from a raised perch to defend nesting territory. Details of nesting behavior are not well known.
Nest is usually on the ground, often in a slight depression in soil and hidden under grass and weeds; sometimes slightly elevated in base of grass clump, and occasionally a few inches up in the base of a bush. Nest is a shallow open cup made of grass.

Eggs: 2-5, probably usually 4. White to pale bluish white, unmarked. Incubation period and roles of the sexes in incubation are not well known.
Young: Probably both parents help feed the nestlings. Age at which the young leave the nest is not well known.

Feeding habits

Mostly insects and seeds.
Diet is not known in detail. In summer, feeds mainly on insects, especially grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, and beetles, plus many others. Also eats many seeds, probably more so in winter.
Behavior: Forages almost entirely while hopping or running on the ground, picking up items from the ground or from plants. Usually forages alone, sometimes in pairs or family groups.


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Botteris Sparrow status Least Concern


Southeastern Arizona (local), southern tip of Texas to Costa Rica. Winters south of United States. Migration: Timing of migration not well known, since birds are very secretive when not singing.

Distribution map

Botteris Sparrow distribution range map

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