Le Contes Sparrow (Ammodramus leconteii)

Le Contes Sparrow

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Emberizidae | [latin] Ammodramus leconteii | [UK] Le Contes Sparrow | [FR] Pinson de Le Conte | [DE] Le-Conte-Ammer | [ES] Gorrion de Le Conte | [NL] Leconte’s Gors


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

A sharp-tailed sparrow of weedy prairie marshes. Note the bright buff-ocher eyebrow stripe and breast (with streaks confined to the sides ). Other points are the
pinkish brown nape, white stripe through the crown, strong stripes on the back.

wingspan min.: 18 cm wingspan max.: 19 cm
size min.: 12 cm size max.: 13 cm
incubation min.: 11 days incubation max.: 13 days
fledging min.: 9 days fledging max.: 10 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 5  


North America : nc


Tall grass, weedy hayfields, marshes. Breeds in wet meadows or the edges of marshes, in areas with damp soil or very shallow water and de
nse growth of grass, sedges, or rushes. Winters mostly in damp weedy fields, shallow freshwater marshes, coastal prairies.


Nesting behavior is not well known, partly because the nests are very difficult to find. Male defends nesting territory by singing from a perch within tall grass; may sing by day or night.
Nest: Site is usually a few inches above the ground, sometimes on the ground, well hidden in areas with large amounts of dead grass, rushes, or sedges remaining from preceding seasons. The nest (probably built
by the female), attached to standing stems, is an open cup of grass and rushes, lined with fine grass and sometimes with animal hair.
Eggs: 3-5, usually 4. Grayish white, spotted with brown and gray. Incubation is by female only, probably about 12-13 days.
Young: Nestlings are fed by the female and possibly by the male. Age at which young leave the nest is not well known.

Feeding habits

Mostly insects and seeds.
Diet is not well known, but apparently eats mostly insects in summer, mostly seeds in winter. Eats caterpillars, leafhoppers, stinkbugs, and many other insects, as well as spiders. Also eats seeds of grasses and weeds. Young are fed almost exclusively on
Behavior: Does its foraging on or near the ground, often feeding on the ground under dense cover, sometimes moving about in low vegetation seeking insects. Almost always forages alone.


This species has an extremely 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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely 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.
Le Contes Sparrow status Least Concern


South-central Canada to northern prairie states. Winters southeastern United States. Migration: Migrates relatively late in fall
and early in spring, with peak passage in many areas during October, March, and April. Rarely strays to Atlantic or Pacific coast, mostly in fall.

Distribution map

Le Contes Sparrow distribution range map

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