Cabanis's Ground Sparrow Facts and Photos

Information about the Bird Cabanis's Ground Sparrow

Prevost's ground sparrow (Melozone biarcuatum), also known as the white-faced ground sparrow, is an American sparrow.

Its English name commemorates French naturalist Florent Prvost. The isolated Costa Rican form may be a separate species, Cabanis's ground sparrow (M. cabanisi); its scientific name refers to German ornithologist Jean Cabanis.
This bird breeds at middle altitudes from southern Mexico to western Honduras and in Costa Rica. It is found typically at altitudes between 600 and 1600m in the undergrowth and thickets of semi-open woodland, coffee plantations, hedgerows and large gardens.
Prevost's ground sparrow is on average 15cm long and weighs 28g. The adult has a stubby dark-grey bill, unstreaked olive-brown upperparts, a rufous crown and mainly white underparts. Young birds are browner above, have yellower underparts, and a duller indistinct head pattern.
The northern form has a simple head pattern in which the rufous of the crown extends down the sides of the neck as a half collar behind the white face.
In the Costa Rican subspecies, the rufous of the crown extends to behind the eye and is bordered on its anterior edge with black This black border is broken by a white eye ring. The forehead is white, bordered below with a thin black line, there is a black malar stripe, and a black central breast patch.
Usually found in pairs, the bird is a shy species best seen at or near dusk. They sometimes venture in the open in the early morning.
The nest, built by the female, is a neat lined cup constructed less than 2m up in a bush or large tussock. The female lays a clutch of two or three ruddy-blotched white eggs, which she incubates for 12-14 days. The male helps in feeding the chicks. This species is sometimes parasitised by the bronzed cowbird.
The bird feeds on the ground on seeds, fallen berries, insects and spiders.
Calls include a thin tsit or a clearer psee. The male-s song, given from a hidden perch in the wet season, is a whistled pst-t-t-t peer peer peer whee whee whee.

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