IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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Overview of Aimophila Quinquestriata

Five-Striped Sparrow (Aimophila Quinquestriata) is the rarest breed of sparrow in the continental United States. It is endemic to the Sonoran Desert, found only in the extreme southern portions of Arizona and a small range in western Mexico. It was first discovered in June of 1957 at the base of the Santa Rita Mountains and has sense then become one of the rarest sights to see for bird watchers. This species is a regular victim of cowbird nest parasites.

Migration is poorly known. Species is extremely secretive and hard to detect in winter.

Typically found in canyon slopes and rocky hillsides. In Arizona they have been spotted on steep hillsides, generally above streams, with dense growth of low shrubs such as mesquite, acacia, and hackberry, and taller stands of ocotillo.

The Five-Striped Sparrow typically keeps a low profile favoring dense hackberry-mesquite thickets and foraging on the ground and in low vegetation. Its diets consist of seeds and arthropods, particularly caterpillars (making up the bulk of their diet).

The male Five-Striped Sparrow attracts its mate showing off their large vocal repertoire that may contain up to 200 different songs. The nest site in dense clump of grass, in low shrub, or at base of ocotillo, the female builds a nest in the shape of a deep open cup using grass, lined with finer grass and often animal hair.

An average clutch is 3- 4 eggs and the female incubation period is only 12-13 days. Both parents feed young, although female may bring more at first. On hot days, the female will stand at the edge of the nest shading the young. Young leave nest about 9-10 days after hatching but can only make sort flights. Parents feed young for at least 2 more weeks and associate with them for up to 7 more weeks. Broads are typically 1-2 per year but have been known to have 3.


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© Shannon Hildesheim

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