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Henslow's sparrow

Henslow's sparrow (Centronyx henslowii)

Features and Behaviors

Henslow's sparrow is about five inches long. The striped, green-brown head is flattened. The light breast has dark stripes. The wings are rust-red. There are two dark stripes below the eye.

Henslow’s sparrow is an uncommon migrant and summer resident statewide and a very rare winter resident in southern Illinois. Spring migration begins in mid-April. Fall migrants start to leave in mid-October. This species winters in the pine forests of the Gulf Coast states. It lives in tall grasslands and fallow fields with little to no trees or shrubs feeding on seeds, insects and fruits.

Reason for Concern

The dense, undisturbed, tall grassland habitat required for this species is rare in Illinois. Once endangered, its population has recovered substantially due to grasslands restored through the Conservation Reserve Program.

Illinois Range


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Passerellidae

Illinois Status: common, native