Savannah Sparrow

Passerculus sandwichensis
Range Map

The Savannah Sparrow, and all its various subspecies, breed all over the North American continent from Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, the Ohio River Valley, and into New England and northward. Most of these birds winter south of the Mason-Dixon Line and in the desert southwest of the USA.

The endangered Belding’s subspecies is resident along the coast of Southern California. Loss of habitat is the cause of their decline. Because I enjoy exploring the bogs and marshes around the south end of San Diego Bay, this is the subspecies I’ve seen most often.

Science recognises 28 subspecies of Savannah Sparrow (too many to list here). Most are defined by region. We sometimes use bill and body size in their descriptions.

During my travels, I’ve met these birds over most of the Western USA, but I’ve also enjoyed meeting them in the Canadian Yukon. They were regular visitors on the lawns I visited during spring migration on South Padre Island in 2020 and 2021.

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