Rufous-winged Sparrow: Medium sparrow, gray-brown upperparts finely streaked with black; underparts are white. Pale gray head has rufous crown divided by gray median stripe, red-brown eye-line, and black moustache stripe. Wings are brown with rufous shoulder patches and two white bars.
Range and Habitat
Rufous-winged Sparrow: Resident in south-central Arizona. Prefers grasslands mixed with thorn bushes, mesquite trees, or cholla patches.
The Rufous-winged Sparrow is shy, elusive, and difficult to see except when the male is singing from exposed perches.
This species is considered at-risk due to its limited geographic range. Within this range its grassland and shrubland habitat has been rapidly lost to development and agriculture.
This species was first discovered in 1872, near old Fort Lowell, Tucson, where it was described as "very common". After 1886, verified records were exceedingly rare. It was considered extinct in Arizona due to overgrazing. It was rediscovered in 1936, the first record in over fifty years.
A group of sparrows has many collective nouns, including a "crew", "flutter", "meinie", "quarrel", and "ubiquity" of sparrows.
The Rufous-winged Sparrow has a modest range, residing mainly in the span between southern Arizona in the United States and Sinaloa, Mexico. Native to the United States and Mexico, this bird prefers subtropical or tropical shrubland or grassland ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 74,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Rufous-winged Sparrow is Least Concern.