Melospiza lincolnii
(Lincoln's Sparrow)

Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Emberizidae
Family Description: Blackbirds, Orioles, & Sparrows

Physical Description:
5-6" (13-15 cm). Resembles Song Sparrow, but more slender; tail shorter; face grayer; breast buffClick word for definition with much finer streaks. Eyebrow and sides of neck gray; cheek brownish with buff mustache; narrow eye-ring white.

Similar Species- Song Sparrow, immature Swamp Sparrow

Trilling that starts with low passages, rises abruptly, then drops.

Breeds across portions of Alaska and Canada, south to southwestern U.S., central Minnesota, and New England. Winters from southern U.S., south regularly to Honduras, and casually to central Panama.

Found in bogs, wet meadows, riparianClick word for definition thickets, shrubby forest edges, marshes, and brushy fields. Idaho study found Lincoln's Sparrows preferred wet, short-willow communities for breeding.

Eats insects, seeds, and grain.

Forages on ground. Builds cup-shaped nest on ground. One study reported breeding territory of about 0.4 ha. Species possibly competes with Song Sparrow when breeding territories overlap.

Female incubatesClick word for definition 3-6 eggs (usually 4-5), for about 13 days. Young are tended by both parents, and leave nest at 10-12 days. Female may produce 2 broodsClick word for definition/yr.

Element Code: ABPBXA3020
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5,NTMB
National Rank: N5B,N5N

Important State References:
Douglas, D.C., J.T. Ratti, R.A. Black, and J.R. Alldredge. 1992. Avian habitat associations in riparian zones of Idaho's Centennial Mountains. Wilson Bull. 104:485- 500.

Photos by Peter S. Weber,© 2000 and Jason Karl,© 2000
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.