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Species Code: POOGR
Breeding Range Map
Metadata (Data about data or how the map was made)Map with Breeding Bird Atlas records
The Vesper Sparrow is common in steppe habitats with a lush cover of native grasses; and agricultural areas of eastern Washington. It nests on the ground, usually near or in shrubby cover. In the central Columbia Basin, Methow valley, and Okanogan valley, it breeds in Artemisia-dominated landscapes. Farther east in the Palouse region, it nests in shrubby breaks, fence rows, or fallow fields. This Sparrow is rare and local in western Washington in remnant prairie areas.
Core zones were steppe, Ponderosa Pine, Oak, and Woodland/Prairie Mosaic zones. Peripheral and local in the Puget Sound Douglas-fir zone. Excluded is the Benton-Walla Walla County border area, where breeding is evidently rare. Grassland, shrub savanna, shrubland, tree savanna, and clearings in forested zones were good habitats. Agricultural fields (except orchards) were adequate.
Two subspecies breed in Washington, P. g. affinis and P. g. confinis. P.g. affinis is the rare and declining, local race of western Oregon and Washington prairies and is in danger of extirpation in Washington due to conversion of prairies to residential areas, farmland, shrub fields of non-native Scot's Broom and forest (due to fire suppression). The Vesper Sparrow is fairly adaptable, breeding in native shrub-steppe habitats or in small patches of un-plowed grass and shrubs among extensive agricultural fields.
Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Webpage designed by Dave Lester