Clay-colored Sparrow: Medium sparrow with black-streaked brown upperparts and buff underparts. The face is pale with finely streaked crown, crisp brown cheek patch, white eyestripe, and gray nape. Pink-gray legs and feet. Short flight, alternates several rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Range and Habitat
Clay-colored Sparrow: Breeds from north-central Canada and Great Lakes region south to Colorado and Michigan. Spends winters from southern Texas south. Preferred habitats include brushy grasslands and prairies.
The plowing of the prairies reduced the habitat of the Clay-colored Sparrow, but with the clearing of forests it has extended its range northeastward and now breeds in the eastern Great Lakes region.
This bird's nests are often parasitized by the Brown-headed Cowbird; the nest may be abandoned when this happens.
Unlike most songbirds, they forage outside of their nesting territory, leaving them with smaller territories to defend than most songbirds their size.
A group of sparrows has many collective nouns, including a "crew", "flutter", "meinie", "quarrel", and "ubiquity" of sparrows.
The Clay-colored Sparrow has a fairly large range reaching up to about 3.2 million square kilometers. This bird can be found throughout North America - including Canada, the United States and Mexico as well as areas of the Caribbean and Central America including the Bahamas, Cuba, Guatemala, Turks and Caicos Islands and a vagrant population in Belize. This species can be found in temperate forests, shrublands and grasslands as well as inland wetlands including rivers, streams and creeks, bogs, marshes and swamps. The global population of this bird is estimated to be around 23 million individuals. Currently, it is not believed that the population trends for this species will soon approach the minimum levels that could suggest a potential decline in population. Due to this, population trends for the Clay-colored Sparrow have a present evaluation level of Least Concern.