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Seaside Sparrow - BirdForum Opus

Ammospiza maritima

Ammodramus maritimus


Photo © by Stanley Jones
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, Chambers County, Texas, July 2018

12·5–15 cm (5-6 in)

  • Brown upperparts
  • Grey crown and nape
  • Greyish-buff breast with dark streaks
  • Dark face
  • Long, narrow, conical bill
  • Grey cheeks
  • Small yellow streak just above the eye
  • White throat
  • Short pointed tail

Sexes similar

Similar Species

Nelson's Sparrow and Saltmarsh Sparrow both have more orange colors in head and/or breast.


Coastal eastern and gulf coast United States.



Subspecies fisheri
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, Chambers County, Texas, USA, May 2018

This is a polytypic species consisting of 7 subspecies[1]:

  • A. m. maritimus:
  • A. m. macgillivraii:
  • Salt marshes from northern North Carolina to southern Georgia (formerly to northern Florida)
  • A. m. nigrescens: Dusky Sparrow
  • Salt marshes of eastern coastal and eastern Florida. Extinct
  • A. m. fisheri:
  • Marshes of Gulf Coast (San Antonio Bay to Alabama)
  • A. m. sennetti:
  • Marshes of Gulf Coast of southern Texas (Aransas County to Nueces Bay)
  • A. m. peninsulae:
  • Salt marshes of western Florida (Dixie County to Old Tampa Bay) and Gulf Coast of northern Florida (Escambia County to Taylor County)
  • A. m. mirabilis:
  • Marshes of south-western Florida (Everglades to Cape Sable)


Salt marshes, both edges and interior. Likes the wettest and muddiest areas.



The construct an open cup nest on tidal reeds and spartina grasses. The clutch consists of 2-5 eggs.


Their diet consists mostly of animal matter; such as marine insects, small snails and crabs.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2016)

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.