The stubby-tailed and bull-necked Grasshopper Sparrow is easy to overlook throughout its range. When not singing its quiet, insect like song from atop a stalk in a weedy pasture, it disappears into the grasses where it usually runs along the ground rather than flies. As sparrows go these birds are lightly marked, buffy tan with clean, unstreaked underparts contrasting with brown, gray, and orange above. The flat head, with an almost comically large bill for such a small bird, completes the distinctive look.Cool Facts
Grasshopper Sparrows are one of the few North American sparrows that sings two different songs. The more common song is a dry insect like buzz, but they also have a more musical series of squeaky notes that the male gives in flight.
Appropriately for this species, grasshoppers are the primary prey. Adults prepare grasshoppers for chicks by removing the legs of the insects, vigorously shaking them off pair by pair.
Grasshopper Sparrows nest on the ground, in a domed nest that is typically hidden at the base of a grass clump.