Rufous-crowned Sparrow: Medium sparrow with gray-brown upperparts streaked with red-brown; underparts are gray. Head has rufous crown, gray face, rufous eye-line, and thick, black moustache stripe. Wings are brown and lack bars. Tail is long and rounded. Legs and feet are pink-gray.
Range and Habitat
Rufous-crowned Sparrow: Resident from California, southern Arizona, and southern New Mexico east to Texas and central Oklahoma. Inhabits open oak woodlands and dry uplands with grassy vegetation and bushes, often near rocky outcrops.
The Rufous-crowned Sparrow was described in 1852 by John Cassin as Ammodramus ruficeps. It is also known as the Rock Sparrow because of its preference to live on rocky slopes.
Male sparrows maintain and defend their territories throughout the year.
The derivation of the current genus name, Aimophila, is from aimos, 'thicket' and phila, 'loving'. Its species name is a literal derivation of its common name, derived from the Latin words rufus 'rufous' and -ceps, from caput 'head'.
A group of sparrows has many collective nouns, including a "crew", "flutter", "meinie", "quarrel", and "ubiquity" of sparrows.
The Rufous-crowned Sparrow has a large range, estimated globally at 1,200,000 square kilometers. Native to the United States and Mexico, this bird prefers subtropical or tropical shrubland, grassland, or forest ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 2,400,000 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-crowned Sparrow is Least Concern.