Botteri’s Sparrow

Botteris sparrow
Credit: Bettina Arrigoni

Botteri’s Sparrows are medium-sized, pale birds that blend in with their desert surroundings. Their head is finely-streaked with red and tan lines. Their bodies are generally plain and light brown-colored.

Their wings are rust-brown, and their bellies are grayish-tan. Males and females are similar. Juveniles are browner overall. 

  • Peucaea botterii
  • Length: 15 cm (6 in)
  • Weight: 20 g (0.7 oz)
  • Wingspan: 23 cm (9 in)


Botteri’s Sparrows do not migrate and live in Mexico and just across the US border.

Habitat And Diet

You can find Botteri’s Sparrows in semi-desert grasslands. Areas with native sacaton grass are a preferred habitat because they form dense clumps that provide necessary cover, especially for fledgling birds. There are also Botteri’s Sparrows that live in coastal prairies with scattered shrubs. 

Botteri’s Sparrows’ favorite food is grasshoppers which they flush out of shrubs. They either chase them on foot or fly after them. When grasshoppers are nowhere to be found, they settle for beetles and their larvae, caterpillars and butterflies, seeds, and grasses. 

Botteri’s Sparrow Song:


Nests of Botteri’s Sparrows are found low to the ground, shrouded by dense clumps of tall grass. They are made of grass, and rootlets, and lined with softer grass. There may be about five eggs per nest, and they take about a couple of weeks to hatch. Both parents share the responsibility of their growing family. 

Fun Fact:

Botteri’s Sparrows were named after their discoverer, Matteo Botteri, an ornithologist.