The Effects of Management Practices on Grassland Birds—Brewer’s Sparrow (Spizella breweri breweri)

Professional Paper 1842-AA
By: , and 



Keys to Brewer’s Sparrow (Spizella breweri breweri) management include maintaining extensive, unfragmented patches of suitable breeding habitat; reducing conifer cover and height; preventing the invasion of conifers and nonnative plants, especially cheatgrass (downy brome [Bromus tectorum]); minimizing disturbance to soil; and restricting the use of pesticides and herbicides during the breeding season (April–July). Brewer’s Sparrows have been reported to use breeding habitats with 12–170 centimeter (cm) vegetation height, 2–34 cm visual obstruction reading, 1–74 percent grass cover, less than (<) 19 percent forb cover, 1–65 percent shrub cover, 1–75 percent bare ground, 2–61 percent litter cover, and <1 cm litter depth. During post-fledging dispersal in July, Brewer’s Sparrow adults and young may shift habitat use to nearby aspen (Populus species [spp.]), riparian shrub, or deciduous mountain shrub habitats, so these habitats also may be important for management.

Suggested Citation

Walker, B.L., Igl, L.D., and Shaffer, J.A., 2020, The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Brewer’s Sparrow (Spizella breweri breweri), chap. AA of Johnson, D.H., Igl, L.D., Shaffer, J.A., and DeLong, J.P., eds., The effects of management practices on grassland birds: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1842, 31 p.,

ISSN: 2330-7102 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Capsule Statement
  • Breeding Range
  • Suitable Habitat
  • Area Requirements and Landscape Associations
  • Brood Parasitism by Cowbirds and Other Species
  • Breeding-Season Phenology and Site Fidelity
  • Species’ Response to Management
  • Management Recommendations from the Literature
  • References
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Brewer’s Sparrow (Spizella breweri breweri)
Series title Professional Paper
Series number 1842
Chapter AA
DOI 10.3133/pp1842AA
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description iv, 31 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details