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Sierra Madre Sparrow

From Opus

Xenospiza baileyi


[edit] Identification

14-15.2 cm. A medium-sized sparrow with very short wings.

  • Brownish above, washed with rufous and streaked with dark brown
  • Indistinct pale median crownstripe on crown, nape indistinctly streaked brown
  • Grey supercilium
  • Dark ear-coverts with dark eyestripe
  • White submoustachial stripe, blackish malar stripe
  • Dark brown tail
  • Dark brown upperwing with rufous edges and buffish tips
  • Whitish throat and underparts, buff wash on breast and flanks with dark brown streaks

Sexes similar, juveniles are duller than adults.

[edit] Distribution

Found in two isolated areas in the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico; in Distrito Federal (around La Cima and Milpa Alta) and southern Durango (Ejido Ojo de Agua-El Cazador).
An endangered restricted-range species. Locally common in its very small range but the populations appear to be in rapid decline. Threatenend with habitat loss due to overgrazing and fires. Formerly occured at more sites (southern Durango, northern Jalisco and around Distrito Federal - Morelos border). Only a few pairs remaining in Durango.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species.

[edit] Habitat

Occurs in pine savanna above 2800 m. Prefers medium and tall bunchgrass meadows (zacatón) interspersed with stands of pines. Also found in open pine-oak woodland. In Durango in dry marshes in tall grass.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Feeds on moths, caterpillars, flying ants, earthworms, beetles, spiders and grass seed.
Forages mostly on or near the ground within grass clumps. A very secretive species.

[edit] Breeding

Breeding recorded from June to August. The nest is built close to the ground in the middle of a clump of bunchgrass or between the clumps. Lays 3 eggs.

[edit] Movements

A sedentary species. There might be some short-distance post-breeding dispersal.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2018)

[edit] External Links


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