Bachman's Sparrow

Aimophila aestivalis
Emberizidae (sparrows, longspurs, buntings) in the order Passeriformes

The Bachman's sparrow is a large sparrow with a large bill, and a fairly flat forehead. It has a long, dark rounded tail. The chest is gray and heavily streaked with chestnut or dark brown. The sides of the head are buffy-gray with a thin dark line extending back from the eye. This sparrow is more reddish in Missouri--the northwestern part of the range--and grayer and darker in the south. Juveniles have a distinct light-colored eye ring and dark streaked throat, breast and sides. 

Length: 6 inches (tip of bill to tip of tail)
Habitat and conservation: 
Areas with scattered, scrubby vegetation and a dense herbaceous understory. Dry, open pine or oak woods with an undercover of grasses and shrubs; brushy or overgrown hillsides; or overgrown fields with thickets and brambles. State and federal agencies are monitoring this species and managing public glades to stimulate regeneration of the grassy understory.
Bachman's sparrows forage on the ground for seeds of herbaceous plants and pines and for insects.
Distribution in Missouri: 
In Missouri, which is at the northwestern edge of this species' range, Bachman's sparrows occur in a few Ozark-area counties.
Endangered in the state of Missouri.
Life cycle: 
Bachman's sparrows arrive in their northern nesting range in March or April. They built their nests on the ground against or under a grass tuft or low shrub. Females lay three to five eggs from April through July. She will have two, sometimes three, clutches of young per year. The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 14 days. Both parents care for the young. Young leave the nest in 10 days, when still unable to fly.
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