birdandhike.com logo
Home | Wildlife | Birds | Songbird Family
Bell's Sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli)
Birds Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli)
Note gray-brown head, lightly streaked back, and heavy gular stripe

General Description: Bell's Sparrows (Artemisiospiza belli) are small, sexually monomorphic, sparrows with a brown-gray head, a white eyeline ahead of the eye, and a white eyering. The throat is white with a heavy gular stripe. The breast is white and unstreaked with a dark central spot. The bill and tail are black. The back is lightly streaked or unstreaked.

In separating Bell's Sparrows from Sagebrush Sparrows during winter, Bell's Sparrows have a brownish head (not gray), a faintly streaked or unstreaked back (not well-streaked), and the gular stripe is heavy (not light).

Taxonomy: Passeriformes, Emberizidae. Formerly Amphispiza belli. The species recently has been split to two species: Bell's Sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli) and Sagebrush Sparrow (Artemisiospiza nevadensis).

Residency: Resident.

Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli)

Favored Habitat: Open desert with shrubs. Generally speaking, Bell's Sparrow breed in more southerly areas (Mojave Desert, southern California, and coastal California) in saltbrush habitats, while Sagebrush Sparrows breed in sagebrush areas (the Great Basin). Both species winter in the deserts around Las Vegas.

Where to Find: Red Rock Canyon NCA and Corn Creek on the Desert National Wildlife Range. They are also common in the Arrow Canyon Range. Check the saltbrush flats along the access road to Corn Creek for breeding and wintering birds.

Comments: Bell's Sparrows tend to run on the ground hiding behind bushes, and when running, they hold their tail cocked upward like a Northern Mockingbird. Sometimes Bell's Sparrows can be found alone, but usually there are found in small flocks where they constantly squabble and chatter among themselves.

Bell's Sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli) If you were a tasty bug or a little seed, this might be the last face you ever see!
Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli)
Notice the heavy gular mark, white eye ring, and black central spot
Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli)
Notice the gray-brown hood and white eye ring
Bell's Sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli) Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli)
Bell's Sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli) Bell's Sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli)
Bell's Sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli)
Notice the heavy gular mark, white eye ring, and black central spot
Saltbrush Habitat
Saltbrush Habitat: Bell's Sparrow breeding habitat near Corn Creek
Sage Sparrow (Amphispiza belli)
Bell's Sparrow in Creosote Bush
Typical Habitat
Mojave Desert Scrub: Bell's Sparrow winter habitat
Bell's Sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli) Bell's Sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli)
Bell's Sparrow (Artemisiospiza belli) more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 141104

Songbirds Birds Around Las Vegas Wildlife Around Las Vegas Glossary Copyright, Conditions, Disclaimer Home

 

Google Ads