Florida Grasshopper Sparrow

Florida Grasshopper Sparrow
FGSP-Christina_Evans-Promo_Large_custom

The Florida grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum floridanus) is a subspecies of grasshopper sparrow that is endemic to the dry prairie of central and southern Florida.  The Service listed the Florida grasshopper sparrow as endangered in 1986 because of habitat loss and degradation resulting from conversion of native vegetation to improved pasture and agriculture.

The song of the Florida grasshopper sparrow is among the weakest of any North American bird and is described as being indistinct and as having a definite insect-like quality, which gave rise to the bird’s common name. The song starts as three low pitched notes followed by a longer, higher pitched “buzz.”

Florida grasshopper sparrow habitat consists of large (greater than 70 acres), treeless, relatively poorly-drained grasslands that have a history of frequent fires.  This species occurs in prairies dominated by saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) and dwarf oaks (Quercus minima) ranging from 20 to 50 inches in height. Bluestem grasses (Andropogon spp.), St. John’s wort (Hypericum spp.), and wiregrasses (Aristida spp.) are also components of grasshopper sparrow habitat.

Although currently not found on the Refuge, the Florida grasshopper sparrow occurs on nearby State and Federally protected lands, as well as several private ranches.

Facts About Florida Grasshopper Sparrow

The song of the Florida grasshopper sparrow is described as being indistinct and as having a definite insect-like quality, which gave rise to the bird’s common name.