Bell’s Sparrow

Bell’s sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli) is a medium-sized sparrow of the Passerellidae family. It is found throughout the western United States and northwestern Mexico.

Four populations are resident to the west: subspecies canescens breeds in south-central California, the dark nominate subspecies belli in the California Coast Ranges and part of the western slope of the Sierra Nevada south to about 29°N in Baja California, the equally dark subspecies clementeae limited to San Clemente Island, and subspecies cinerea in western Baja California from 29°N to 26°45′N.

Bell’s sparrows are often tied to sagebrush habitats, although they can also be found in brushy stands of saltbush, chamise, and other low shrubs of the arid west.

Bell’s Sparrows eat seeds and insects during the breeding season, taking beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and other insects, plus spiders, seeds, small fruits, and vegetation. During the nonbreeding season, they feed mostly on seeds from grasses, pigweed, and mustard plant.

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