Five-striped Sparrow (Aimophila quinquestriata)

Five-striped Sparrow

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Emberizidae | [latin] Aimophila quinquestriata | [UK] Five-striped Sparrow | [FR] Bruant a cinq bandes | [DE] Funfstreifen-Ammer | [ES] Zacatonero cinco rayas | [NL] Vijfstrepengors


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Torreornis quinquestriata
Aimophila quinquestriata MA nw, w Mexico
Aimophila quinquestriata quinquestriata
Aimophila quinquestriata septentrionalis

Physical charateristics

A rare Mexican sparrow. Dusky, with five white stripes on the head (white throat, eyebrows, and jaw lines) and a single black spot on the dark gray breast.

Listen to the sound of Five-striped Sparrow

[audio: Sparrow.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 22 cm wingspan max.: 23 cm
size min.: 15 cm size max.: 16 cm
incubation min.: 12 days incubation max.: 13 days
fledging min.: 9 days fledging max.: 11 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 4  


Middle America : nw, West Mexico


Dry canyon slopes, rocky hillsides. In Arizona, found on steep hillsides, generally above streams, with dense growth of low shrubs such as mesquite, acacia, and hackberry, and taller stands of ocotillo. Known Ar
izona sites are at elevations from 3,400′ to 4,000′. In Mexico, also found in dry tropical woods on rocky ground, usually on hillsides.


In Arizona, nests mostly in mid to late summer, after onset of summer rainy season, but pairs may occupy territories by late spring. Male sings persistently to defend nesting territory.
Nest: Site is in dense clump of grass, in low shrub, or at base of ocotillo, from a few inches to 5′ above ground. Nest (built by female) is a deep open cup of grass, lined with finer grass and often with animal hair.
Eggs: 3-4. White, unmarked. Incubation is by female only, about 12-13 days.
Young: Both parents bring food for young, although female may bring more at first. Young leave nest about 9-
10 days after hatching, but able to make only short flights at this stage. Young are fed by parents for at least 2 weeks after fledging, may associate with them up to 7 weeks. Usually 1-2 broods per year, sometimes 3.

Feeding habits

Mostly insects and seeds.
Feeds mainly on insects in summer, particularly caterpillars, moths, and grasshoppers, also ants and others. Also eats seeds and some small berries. Young are fed mostly caterpillars and grasshoppers.
Behavior: Forages mostly on the ground and in low vegetation, moving rather slowly and deliberately, picking up small items with bill
. Sometimes takes insects from spider webs; rarely makes short flights to catch insects in midair.


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.
Five-striped Sparrow status Least Concern


Mexico. Very local in southeastern Arizona; found in dense shrubs on dry canyon slopes, rocky arid hillsides. Migration:
Migratory status is poorly known. Has been found in winter in Arizona only a few times, suggesting that most probably leave in fall, but species is extremely secretive and hard to detect in winter.

Distribution map

Five-striped Sparrow distribution range map

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