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Spizella breweri

Scientific Name:Spizella breweri
Common name:Brewer's Sparrow
Rank and Status   
Global Rank:G5 Native Status:Native
Subnational (State) Rank:S3B Endemic:No
US ESA Status:None Sand Dunes:No
NNHP Tracking Status:Watch List Wetland:No
Other Agency Status Status Last Updated Status Comments
Bureau of Land Management - Nevada Sensitive BLM Nevada Sensitive Species List dated 2017-10-01
State of Nevada Protected Sensitive Birds NAC 503.050.3
Nevada Wildlife Action Plan - 2012 Species of Conservation Priority
Nevada Wildlife Action Plan - 2005 Species of Conservation Priority
Nevada Partners in Flight Priority Bird Species
Audubon Watchlist 2007 Yellow List
CCVI Score Moderately Vulnerable Conf. Mod.; Factors contributing to increased vulnerability are climate change mitigation, historical hydrological niche, disturbance, and other species for habitat.
Distribution (NV Counties)

Status: Predicted or probable

Carson City Esmeralda Lincoln Pershing
Churchill Eureka Lyon Storey
Clark Humboldt Mineral Washoe
Douglas Lander Nye White Pine
Summary Occurrence Data
Occurrence Count:3
Total Observed Area (hectares):Not Available
Maximum Known Elevation (m):1887
Minimum Known Elevation (m):1041
Spizella breweri data at NatureServe
Spizella breweri photos and data at Encyclopedia of Life
Character Abstract
Identification Comments:
Subspecies Comments:
Food Habits:In spring and summer consumes many insects. In fall and winter feeds on seeds. Forages mainly on the ground. Drinks free water when available and will bathe in standing water; but adapted to arid environments and can physiologically adjust to water deprivation, obtaining water from foods (Dawson et al. 1979; Rotenberry et al. 1999). May be food-limited in winter, as winter density is positively correlated with summer rainfall, and rainfall increases abundance of seeds available to wintering birds (Dunning and Brown 1982).
Phenology Comments:
Reproduction Comments:
Migration Mobility:
Habitat Comments:Strongly associated with sagebrush, and high sagebrush vigor (Knopf et al. 1990), over most of its range, in areas with scattered shrubs and short grass. Can also be found to lesser extent in mountain mahogany, rabbit brush, bunchgrass grasslands with shrubs, bitterbrush, ceanothus, manzanita and large openings in pinyon-juniper (Knopf et al. 1990; Rising 1996; Sedgwick 1987; USDA Forest Service 1994). Positively correlated with shrub cover, above-average vegetation height, bare ground, and horizontal habitat heterogeneity (patchiness); negatively correlated with grass cover, spiny hopsage, and budsage (Larson and Bock 1984; Rotenberry and Wiens 1980; Wiens 1985; Wiens and Rotenberry 1981). Prefer areas dominated by shrubs rather than grass. Prefers sites with high shrub cover and large patch size, but thresholds for these values not quantified (Knick and Rotenberry 1995). Nests low in sagebrush (preferred), other shrub, or cactus, from a few centimeters to about 1 meter from ground. Also place nests higher in taller sagebrush (Rich 1980).
Ecology comments:The GBBO (2011) analysis of bird population responses to projected effects of climate change indicates Brewer's Sparrow population change is most affected by projected losses of big sagebrush/mid-open, mountain sagebrush/mid-closed, and mountain sagebrush/depleted covers, and shows the largest projected gains in sagebrush/annual grass and salt desert/shrub/annual covers, for a projected total of a 14% reduction in statewide population size over 50 years.
Version Date:11/08/1999 - 12:00am

Not Available