Rufous-Winged Sparrow

Peucaea carpalis

The Rufous-Winged Sparrow inhabits desert grasslands scattered with thorn bushes, bunch grasses, mesquite, or cholla in the Sonoran Deserts of southern Arizona and the northwestern Mexican mainland. These birds form lifelong pair-bonds and stay on their home territory their entire lives. They always seem to time their nesting with the summer rainy season, usually building nests a week or less after the first rainfall.

Science used to classify this bird as Aimophila carpalis, but it is now called by Peucaea carpalis. Discovered for science by Major Bendire in 1872 near Tucson, overgrazing in the latter half of the 1800s destroyed critical habitat in southern Arizona and the birds were not found there again until 1936. Habitat loss by overgrazing and development continues to be a threat to these birds.

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