Olive Sparrow

olive sparrow

Olive Sparrows are secretive birds with olive backs, hence their name. They have brown stripes on their gray heads, but a plain, whitish chest and belly.

Olive Sparrows from the Pacific have darker, thicker stripes on their heads but the same coloring on the rest of their bodies. Males and females look the same, juveniles are browner with streaks except on their belly and throat.

  • Arremonops rufivirgatus
  • Length: 6.55 in (17 cm)
  • Weight: 0.8 oz (23 g)
  • Wingspan: 9 in (23 cm)


Olive Sparrows do not migrate and can be found along the coasts of Mexico and in southeastern Texas all year.

Habitat And Diet

You can find Olive Sparrows in densely vegetated areas, which is why their feather coloring is perfect for camouflage. They are also often found in weedy thickets and thorn scrubs.

Olive Sparrows forage low to the ground in pairs with their tails up in the air. They eat seeds and insects and would usually stay undercover, hopping from bush to bush.

Olive Sparrow Song:


Nests of Olive Sparrows are on the ground or placed in a bush or thorny shrubs. They are made with dried grass, bark, sticks, stems, and leaves and lined with mammal fur. Females lay between two to five eggs that hatch after ten to twelve days.

Attract Olive Sparrows to your backyard by offering sunflower seeds on the ground. They would rather pick off the seeds that have fallen from the feeders rather than take them from the feeders themselves.

Fun Fact:

If cowbirds lay their eggs in Olive Sparrow nests then only cowbird chicks will be raised, this is why they prefer dense vegetation for their nests.