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threatened and/or endangered

Olive Sparrow Arremonops rufivirgatus


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Olive Sparrow

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Emberizidae, New World Sparrows view all from this family

Description ADULT Has olive-green back, wings, and tail. Head is marked with dark brown eyestripe, broad pale supercilium, and brown crown with pale central stripe. Face is otherwise grayish and throat is white. Underparts are otherwise mostly pale gray, but whitish on belly and buffy on undertail coverts. Bill and legs are pinkish. JUVENILE Recalls adult, but is warmer brown overall and streaked above and below, with buffy wing bars.

Dimensions Length: 5 3/4" (15 cm)

Habitat Fairly common resident of dense thorny scrub and desert woodland.

Observation Tips A challenge to find. Learn the species' song and call to detect its presence in an area. Will sometimes respond and emerge from cover if you use a bird "squeaker", a device used by birders to imitate bird calls.

Range Texas

Voice Song is delightful, accelerating series of rather soft tsip notes; call is a sharp tship.

Discussion Secretive, arid-country sparrow. Combination of distinctive crown stripes and olive-yellow back and wings are useful in identification. Feeds mainly in dense cover, making it hard to observe well. Sexes are similar.