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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Weekly Sparrow Spotlight

Deriving its common name from their propensity to sing at twilight, the Vesper Sparrow is an uncommon, but regular visitor to Brooklyn during migration. Nesting in open, grassy areas, their range extends north to south from Alberta, Canada to central Arizona and east to west from Nova Scotia to Oregon. They overwinter in southern to east-central North America south to the Gulf Coast and central Mexico.

This medium-sized, chunky sparrow is the only species in their genus. With a streaked underside, bold white eyering and white outer tail feathers that flash during flight, it is a distinctive sparrow, not usually confused with other species.

The IUCN Red List list the Vesper Sparrow as "Least Concern" despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing. The New York State Department of Environment Conservation lists it as "Special Concern" as the state's population has declined by 49%.

It's scientific name, Pooecetes gramineus, means "grass dweller, grassy".

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