International Rufous-crowned Sparrow of Mystery

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

International Rufous-crowned Sparrow of Mystery

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Rufous-crowned Sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps)De la Guerra Spring,…

Friday, December 28th, 2018

Rufous-crowned Sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps)

De la Guerra Spring, 2018-12-27

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debunkshy:Rufous-crowned SparrowKerr WMA, TX5-12-18

Thursday, August 16th, 2018


Rufous-crowned Sparrow
Kerr WMA, TX

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renatagrieco: December 13, 2017 – Rufous-crowned Sparrow…

Thursday, April 5th, 2018


December 13, 2017 – Rufous-crowned Sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps)

Found in a spotty range across the southwestern United States and parts of Mexico, these sparrows spend most of their time on or near the ground. During the summer they mostly eat insects, switching mainly to stems, shoots, and seeds during the winter. Females build nests on the ground from dried grasses, rootlets, twigs, bark, and hair. Both parents feed the chicks. They may perform broken wing displays to draw predators away from the nest.


If I had a “nemesis bird” in my attempt to run up my county year list this year it would probably be Rufous-crowned Sparrow. I found a cool place to see them not far from home last year and then… it burned. So far this year every time I’ve gone somewhere to try to see them I’ve failed. I described my plight to a helpful birder a few weeks ago, and he instructed me to go to xeno-canto and get familiar with their songs.

Good advice! This morning while I was walking around at La Cumbre Peak listening to Mountain Quails I caught a faint song from the chaparral hillside above me, and a few seconds later I was looking at no-longer-a-nemesis county year bird #228. I didn’t get a particularly good look; it was pretty far away and I’d been lazy by not bringing the spotting scope with me, but I could see the plain breast and the rufous crown, and that plus the song was good enough for me.

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