Texas Henslow's Sparrow

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image: Texashenslowsparrow.jpg

Common Name: Texas Henslow’s Sparrow

Scientific Name: Ammodrammus henslowii houstonensis

Size: 4-5 inches (11-13cm)

Habitat: North America; A farming area outside Houston, Texas.

Status: Extinct. Global Population: 0. Extinction was brought on by habitat loss.

Diet: Insects, including slugs and spiders and seeds from grasses and sedges. It found most of its food sources while foraging on the ground.

Breeding: It nested in weedy fields or pastures, preferring moist areas. It built its nest in tall grass, often with a partial roof, which offers some seclusion. 2-5 eggs were laid.

Cool Facts: The Texas Henslow’s Sparrow has been extinct since 1983. It was found only on a 105 acre field near Houston, Texas.

Preservation of the species was complicated by the dispute on whether it was a “true” subspecies of the Henslow’s Sparrow which was found 750 miles away in the southern Missouri in 1973. While the debate continued in the court system, the Texas Henslow's sparrow’s habitat encroached upon, and it slipped into extinction due to that. After a 10-year legal battle in 1983, the Texas Henslow sparrow was finally declared a “true” subspecies and awarded “Federally Endangered” posthumously.

The question whether the Texas Henslow’s Sparrow is a true subspecies is still rages amongst some academics due to its similar characteristics to its parent species.

Today, the Henslow’s Sparrow (the parent species), is approaching its chance for Federal protection. Hopefully more care and urgency will be given in saving the parent species.


Found in Songbird ReMix Threatened Endangered Extinct 1

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