NELSON’S SPARROW (Ammodramus nelsoni) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Nelson’s Sparrow has a faded orange face and breast, and are streaked brown overall. There is an orange line above the eye, and the crown is brown. The bill is grey and the legs pinkish. The nape and under parts are grey and back and wings brown. Sexes are similar. The bird is about 12 cm (5 inches) long.
NAME: ‘Sparrow’ derives from Anglo-Saxon ‘Spearwa’, which means ‘flutterer’. Name ‘Nelson’s’ (and ‘Nelsoni’) given in memory of American naturalist E.W. Nelson, a past president of the American Ornithologists’ Union. The Latin genus name ‘Ammodramus’ means ‘sand’ and ‘to run’.
HABITAT: Prairie, marshes.
DIET: Feeds mainly on insects and other invertebrates foraged on plants and on the ground, sometimes dug up in the mud. Also feeds on seeds.
NESTING: Build their cup-shaped nest attached to vegetation above marsh water. As opposed to other species, does not claim a territory and both sexes mate with others, so in a nest the eggs come from different fathers. Between two and six green eggs are laid, incubated by female, who is also the one feeding the chicks.
DISTRIBUTION: Peculiar overall breeding range – coastal areas of Hudson’s Bay and the Maritimes, and the Canadian prairies. That’s because it looks for salt and fresh water marshes including the Prairie Potholes for breeding.
ON PEI: Breeds on Prince Edward Island, common in spring, summer and fall.
CONSERVATION: Numbers increased in last few decades, widespread, not currently at risk.
NOTES: ‘Nelson’s Sparrow’ is the title of an episode of the American TV series ‘Criminal Minds’.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Grasshopper Sparrow
Nelson’s Sparrow – BC Environment (.pdf document) Montana Field Guide)

Nelson's Sparrow -Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary,Missouri - Sept. 30, 2012
Nelson’s Sparrow -Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary,Missouri – Sept. 30, 2012 – Andy Reago