Rufous-crowned Sparrow

Credit: Ron Knight

Rufous-crowned Sparrows are large sparrows that are gray underneath and streaked brown on the back. They have reddish-brown crowns and white and dark stripes on their faces.

  • Aimophila ruficeps
  • Length: 5.9-6.3 in (15-16 cm)
  • Weight: 0.6-0.7 oz (16-21 g)


Rufous-crowned Sparrows are resident all year in southwestern US states.

Habitat And Diet

You can find Rufous-crowned Sparrows on the ground in dry, rocky hillsides that have vegetation for them to hide. In spring, when males are singing, is the best time to spot them.

They eat insects in spring and summer and fallen seeds and other plant material in winter.

Rufous-crowned Sparrow Sounds:


Nests of Rufous-crowned Sparrows are on the ground, hidden in vegetation, and built by females from dried grass and some twigs. They lay up to five eggs which take around two weeks to hatch and a further nine days for the young to leave the nest.

Fun Fact:

Rufous-crowned Sparrows distract predators from nests by pretending to have a broken wing or by pretending to fall from a branch.