Black-chinned Sparrow

Black-chinned Sparrows are small, slender birds with round heads and long tails. They have gray bodies with brown streaks along their wings and backs, and sport pink bills. Breeding males have a black patch around their chin and throat, giving them their name; while females and juveniles lack this coloring.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Spizella atrogularis
CLASSIFICATION
Bird
LIFE SPAN
2-5 Years
SIZE
5-6 ” | 0.019-0.031 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Priority Species
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Non-Game
GAME TYPE
None
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Black-chinned Sparrows are found in the southern portion of Nevada, and are locally common in dry brushlands and chaparral from near sea level to 8,000 feet. They typically breed on rocky hillsides and winter downslope in desert shrublands.

  • Mojave desert
  • Pinyon juniper forests

Threats

  • Climate Change
  • Grazing
  • Habitat Loss

Natural History

Black-chinned Sparrows eat insects from the trees and the ground during breeding season. In the winter, they eat seeds from flowering plants and from grasses. They typically breed on rocky hillsides, building their nests in the centers of dense shrub. Most nests can be found about two feet above the ground. Males will sing from perches to defend their territory.

Fun Facts

Black-chinned Sparrows may prefer recently burned areas, where the chaparral is less than ten years old.