Rufous-winged Sparrow

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Common Name: Rufous-winged Sparrow
Scientific Name: Peucaea carpalis

Size: 5.1-5.5 inches (13-14 cm)

Habitat: North America; year-round resident of south-central Arizona and Guadalupe Canyon, New Mexico, south to northern Sinaloa, Mexico.

The Rufous-winged Sparrow inhabits desert grasslands with scattered mesquite or cholla. It also occurs in washes with sandy bottoms and vegetated slopes, brushy irrigation ditches, and creeks bordered by broad-leaved trees, mesquite, grasses, and forbs.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: Unknown amount of mature individuals. Habitat loss from grazing and development has led to declines and elimination of local Rufous-winged Sparrow populations.

Diet: During the breeding season, adult Rufous-winged Sparrows feed on a variety of insects, caught on the wing or gleaned off plant surfaces. At other times, the bird eats seeds. Normal forage behavior includes pecking at ground and at bases of grass stems.

Nesting: Sexes are alike. Rufous-winged Sparrow pairs remain on their territories year-round and stay bonded for life. The back is brown with darker streaks, while the belly is pale gray. The wings and crown are rust-colored. This sparrow has a conical, yellow-based bill and a long brown tail.

Rufous-winged Sparrows usually breed during the monsoon months of July and August. The nest is built low in small trees, bushes, or cactus, including hackberry, palo verde, cholla, and mesquite. The average clutch size is four; pairs may have two broods per year.

Cool Facts: The Rufous-winged Sparrow may depend more on rainfall as a stimulus for nesting than any other North American bird. It typically nests after summer rains have begun, often building a nest and laying its first egg within five or six days after the first rain.

Found in Songbird Remix Sparrows of the World

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