Rufous-crowned Sparrow

The rufous-crowned sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps) is a small American sparrow in the Passerellidae family. This passerine is primarily found across the Southwestern United States and much of the interior of Mexico, south to the transverse mountain range, and to the Pacific coast to the southwest of the transverse range.

This bird is found in the southwestern United States and Mexico from sea level up to 9,800 feet (3,000 m), though it tends to be found between 3,000 and 6,000 feet (910 and 1,830 m). It lives in California, southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, Texas, and central Oklahoma south along Baja California and in western Mexico to southern Puebla and Oaxaca. In the midwestern United States, the sparrow is found as far east as a small part of western Arkansas, and also in a small region of northeastern Kansas, its most northeastern habitat.

This sparrow feeds primarily on small grass and forb seeds, fresh grass stems, and tender plant shoots during autumn and winter. During these seasons, insects such as ants, grasshoppers, ground beetles, and scale insects as well as spiders make up a small part of its diet. In the spring and summer, the bird’s diet includes a greater quantity and variety of insects.

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