Saltmarsh Sparrow

The Saltmarsh Sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus) is a small songbird that belongs to the family Emberizidae. It is mostly found in salt marshes along the eastern coast of North America, from Maine to Virginia. This bird has an interesting appearance and some unique characteristics that make it stand out in its habitat.

Basic Description

The Saltmarsh Sparrow measures about 12 cm long, with a wingspan of 18-21 cm. It weighs around 13 g, which makes it one of the smallest sparrows in North America. Its plumage is grayish-brown on top and lighter underneath, with distinctive rusty streaks on its back and wings. The male has a darker head than the female, which also lacks the black mask present around his eyes.

Where To Find This Bird

The Saltmarsh Sparrow lives primarily along low-lying coastal areas from Maine down to Virginia’s Delmarva Peninsula. During breeding season, these birds inhabit high marsh habitats close to open water or tidal creeks where they build their nests among salt-tolerant grasses such as cordgrass or Spartina alterniflora.


Salt marshes are critical habitats for this species during breeding season but can be vulnerable due to climate change-driven sea level rise that threatens inundation by more saline water levels over time if there are no management interventions implemented soon enough.


During nesting season (May through July), their diet consists mainly of insects such as spiders and beetles; however, when food resources become scarce later in summer or during migration periods (September through October), they will eat seeds like those found on wildflowers or other plant material near saltwater habitats.

Cool Facts

One interesting fact about this bird is that they have adapted well enough over time to saltwater environments despite being land-bound creatures; another incredible adaptation includes how males respond vocally only at certain times of the year, usually when defending their territories from other males or courting with females during breeding seasons.

The Saltmarsh Sparrow is a fascinating bird species that lives in coastal salt marshes. Its unique appearance and characteristics make it stand out among other sparrows. Although its habitat faces threats due to climate change, conservation efforts can help protect this interesting bird for future generations to enjoy.