Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Cassin's Sparrow - Peucaea cassinii
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General Comments The Cassin's Sparrow is a bird of the southern Great Plains, and though it is similar in appearance to other Peucaea sparrows, it has a trait that few other North American songbirds share -- a "skylarking" song. Thus, most of the songs it gives are in flight and not while perched; this a is trait limited mainly to birds of extensive open country, such as Horned Larks and pipits. It seldom strays eastward, and in the spring and early summer of 2011, almost certainly a result of the horrific drought in that part of the continent, a few Cassin's Sparrows strayed east of Texas. Its breeding habitat is mainly dry grasslands with scattered shrubs, and this is somewhat the habitat that was used by a bird singing, on territory(!), in North Carolina in 2011, a remarkable first state record [Chat 76:125-27 link].
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
Coastal Plain Accidental. One singing male was present in northern Scotland from 20 Apr - 6 May 2011* [Chat 76:125-27 link]; [Chat 75:135 link]; [Chat 76:4 link]. During this time it was photographed and videotaped, including videos of the bird skylarking.
Piedmont No records.
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips
1/2 *
Attribution Haire[2013-02-23], LeGrand[2012-05-06]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
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NA Maps
(source NatureServe)

View NatureServe distribution maps for Peucaea cassinii