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
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank G5
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 LeGrand[2018-02-02], Haire[2013-02-23], LeGrand[2012-05-06]
NC Map
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