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Le Conte's sparrow

Le Conte's sparrow (Ammospiza leconteii)
Photo © Alan Murphy Photography

Features and Behaviors

LeConte's sparrow is about five inches in length (tail tip to bill tip in preserved specimen). A white stripe on the top of the head is distinctive. Prominent dark stripes are present on the back. Dark streaks are seen in the buff coloration on the sides of the chest. The sides of the head are orange, with that coloration extending to the throat as a lighter buff color.

LeConte's sparrow is a migrant statewide and an uncommon winter resident of southern Illinois. It does not nest in Illinois. Spring migration commences through the state in March. Fall migrants begin passing through the state in mid-September. The species winters as far south as the Gulf Coast. This bird may be seen in marshes, prairies and grassy fields. Seeds and insects compose the diet.

Illinois Range


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

Illinois Status: common, native