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Description of the Brewer's Sparrow


The Brewer’s Sparrow is very nondescript, with a grayish head, faint streaking on the crown and nape, a white eye ring, plain, buffy-gray underparts, and indistinct wing bars.  Length: 5 in.  Wingspan: 7 in.


Brewer's Sparrow


Brewers Sparrow 1 gl
Photograph © Greg Lavaty.


Same as male.

Seasonal change in appearance

Fall and winter birds are slightly buffier below.


Juveniles have streaked underparts.


Brewer’s Sparrows inhabit sagebrush, weedy fields, and pinyon-juniper woodlands.


Brewer’s Sparrows eat insects and seeds.


Brewer’s Sparrows forage on the ground or low in vegetation.


Brewer’s Sparrows breed across much of the western U.S. and southwestern Canada. They winter in the southwestern U.S. and Mexico. The population has declined in recent decades.

More information:

Bent Life History

Visit the Bent Life History for extensive additional information on the Brewer's Sparrow.

Fun Facts

The Brewer’s Sparrow's elaborate song makes up for its nondescript plumage.

A small, disjunct northern population is sometimes considered to be a separate species, the "Timberline" Sparrow.


The song consists of a highly variable series of trills and buzzes. A sharp "chip" call is also given.


The Brewer’s Sparrow’s nest is a cup of grasses, weeds, and twigs and is lined with finer materials. It is placed in a low shrub.

Number: 3-4:
Color: Pale bluish-green in color with darker markings.

Incubation and fledging:
The young hatch at about 11-13 days, and fledge at about 8-9 days, though remaining dependent on the adults for some time.