florida grasshopper sparrow

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Florida Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum floridanus)

There is something about these little guys that I love, and I am delighted that I finally was able to get a good look at them in the wild.

During early summer mornings the male sparrows will perch on high points around the prairie to defend their territory by singing their buzzing song for which they are named for.

Development of palmetto prairies into cattle pasture has done a number to the species and the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow is listed as critically endangered.

Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area, FL

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The Florida Grasshopper Sparrows is one of my favorite birds, and chances are they won’t be around much longer. 

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In the top photo, the blurry dot is a Florida Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum floridanus) an endangered bird found only in the dry palmetto prairie of Central Florida. They can be found during summer mornings, when the males will take high perches around their territory to sing. 

The sparrows require annual brush fires prior to nesting season to keep the brush low to the ground and relatively open. (shown in the second photo)

Loss of habitat is the major threat to the grasshopper sparrow as much of the sparrows former range has been converted to “improved pastures” to support more cattle per acre.

I have been trying to find one of these sparrows for the past year and on this visit only found one because I ran across a team of monitors who keep track of the status of the population. 

Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area, FL