Brewer’s sparrow (Spizella breweri) is a small brown bird with a very distinctive song. This bird ranges widely but its preferred nesting grounds are found in the sagebrush steppe ecosystems found at Craters of the Moon and throughout the intermountain west. Sagebrush provides cover, song perches, and nest sites. Brewer’s sparrow’s nests are usually found towards the bottom of sagebrush. These birds prefer dense stands of sagebrush along with abundant native grasses that provide an abundance of food.
Each year, the National Park Service (NPS) monitors Brewer’s sparrow through breeding bird surveys. The Brewer’s sparrow is the most common bird that is seen throughout this survey. The NPS also aids in conservation efforts of this species as it monitors the health of sagebrush steppe habitat from many threats such as invasive species.
Did You Know?
Searing lava flows that initially destroyed everything in their path today protect the last refuges of intact sagebrush steppe communities on the Snake River Plain. These islands of vegetation, known as kipukas, provide important examples of what is "natural".