Lincoln's Sparrow

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Lincoln's Sparrow

Lincoln's sparrow photo
Melospiza lincolnii
Emberizidae (sparrows, longspurs, buntings) in the order Passeriformes

Buffy breast and flanks finely streaked with brown. Faint light eye ring. Eye stripe and side of face gray. No wing bars. Streaked brown and gray crown. Lincoln's sparrows are small, shy sparrows that will occasionally over-winter in west central Missouri and the Mississippi River basin. In late fall and early spring, these sparrows are more widespread and can be seen along prairie edges and at bird feeders.

Length: 5 3/4 inches (tip of bill to tip of tail).
Habitat and conservation: 
Usually seen in brushy edges and weedy fields, usually staying hidden in cover.
Forages on the ground for insects and seeds. Usually stays under the cover of shrubs, although it may be seen in the open where birdseed has been spread on the ground.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Uncommon migrant statewide in appropriate habitats; winter resident in southern Missouri but very rare farther north.
Common summer resident in the north, uncommon in the southeast, rare elsewhere; common winter resident.
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