Tag Archives: Passerellidae

Ammodramus savannarum ssp. ‘Barbuda’

Barbudan Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum ssp.)

The Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum (J. F. Gmelin)) is distributed over most of northern America as well as parts of the Caribbean, the species was in fact first described from Jamaica.

The species is known from Barbuda, Antigua and Barbuda, in the Lesser Antilles based on a single complete humerus. [1]

The Caribbean populations of the Grasshopper Sparrow are treated as distinct island-endemic subspecies, thus the remains found on Barbuda most likely represent another, now extinct population that once was restricted to Antigua and Barbuda.



[1] Gregory K. Pregill; David W. Steadman; David R. Watters: Late Quaternary vertebrate faunas of the Lesser Antilles: historical components of Caribbean biogeography. Bulletin of Carnegie Museum of Natural History 30: 1-51. 1994


edited: 17.02.2020

Pedinorhis stirpsarcana Olson & McKitrick

Puerto Rico Bushfinch (Pedinorhis stirpsarcana)

The Puerto Rico Bushfinch was a large finch-like bird with a long and narrow beak that is known from (sub)fossil remains that were found in cave deposits on the island of Puerto Rico and that could be dated to Late Pleistocene age, however, it is believed that some remains from other fossil sites are younger.

The remains were found in association with the fossils of species that are typical for open, arid environments and it is thought that the species disappeared due to postglacial reduction of these arid habitats. [1]



[1] Storrs L. Olson; Mary C. McKitrick: A new genus and species of emberizine finch from Pleistocene cave deposits in Puerto Rico (Aves: Passeriformes). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 1(3-4): 276-283. 1981


edited: 05.11.2020

Aimophila ruficeps ssp. sanctorum van Rossem

Todos Santos Rufous-crowned Sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps ssp. sanctorum)

The Todos Santos Rufous-crowned Sparrow was described in 1947, it was endemic to the Isla Todos Santos offshore Baja California Norte, Mexico.

This form is said to have been the dakerst of the coastal races of this species. 


Rufous-crowned Sparrow (Aimophila ruficeps (Cassin)); another subspecies

Photo: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren

(under creative commons license (2.0))


edited: 03.11.2020

Ammodramus maritimus ssp. nigrescens

Dusky Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus ssp. nigrescens)

The Dusky Seaside Sparrow was a dark-colored subspecies of the Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus (Wilson)) that inhabited an area that stretches from New England to Florida.

The form disappeared from most of its former area due to habitat destruction and the use of DDT; the last remaining populations survived on Merritt Island and in the St. Johns National Wildlife Refuge in Brevard County, Florida.

There were some efforts to save the form, however, they all failed. The photo below shows the last known surviving individual named “Orange Band”; it died on June 18, 1987 in captivity.


Photo: P. W. Sykes

(public domain)


edited: 02.05.2021