Scientific name: Amphispiza belli
Frequently a runner rather than a flyer in behavior, the Sage Sparrow can be very inconspicuous. Some populations of Sage Sparrows are migratory, while others are permanent residents. The migratory birds appear to travel in small groups, at least in the fall.
Brown-headed Cowbirds sometimes parasitize Sage Sparrow nests, but this usually occurs where humans have changed the habitat in favor of the cowbirds. Some Sage Sparrows abandon parasitized nests, but other will raise the cowbirds. Two or three years is a typical lifespan for Sage Sparrows, but a few have reached six or seven years of age.
Length: 6 inches
Wing span: 8 inches
Photograph © Greg Lavaty