Black-faced Grassquit: Small sparrow, very dark olive-gray with black head and breast. Black bill, legs and feet. Very common in the West Indies. Feeds mainly on seeds, especially of grasses and weeds. The flight is weak, bouncy and fluttering. Alternates rapid wing beats with pulling wings to body.
Range and Habitat
Black-faced Grassquit: Native to the West Indies, rarely seen in sountern Florida and those sightings may be escaped caged birds. Perfers open areas of grasses, scrub and fields.
Males on the South American mainland have more extensively black underparts, shading to a grey belly.
The male Black-faced Grassquit has a display flight in which he flies for short distances, vibrating his wings and giving a buzzing dik-zeezeezee call.
They are often found in small groups, but are solitary at evening roosts.
A group of sparrows has many collective nouns, including a "crew", "flutter", "meinie", "quarrel", and "ubiquity" of sparrows.
The Black-faced Grassquit is a very close relative of the Darwin finch, and breeds in the West Indies and northern coasts of Columbia and Venezuela. Its natural habitat is open and semi-open areas of long grass and scrubs, including roadsides and rice fields. This species builds dome-shaped nests of grass which are placed low on banks. The Black-faced Grassquit typically dines on seeds of grass plants, and lives in groups. Evening roosts, however, are usually solitary. They live in warmer climates, so do not migrate in winter months. Due to maintained or increasing populations, the Black-faced Grassquit has a conservation status of Least Concern.