Florida Grasshopper Sparrow
© Lee Snyder
Grasshopper Sparrows primarily eat seeds and insects, such as grasshoppers. Of the four subspecies of Grasshopper Sparrow in North America, two occur in Florida. The eastern U.S. pratensis subspecies visits the state during the winter between October and April. The floridanus subspecies is endemic to Florida, where it is a difficult-to-find, year-round resident of dry open prairie in several central Florida counties. Individuals of the Florida subspecies are darker than the eastern U.S. subspecies and their songs are different. Look for singing Florida males during the spring and summer, particularly from mid-May to July. The Florida population is federally endangered and is rapidly declining; in 2012 only 75 singing males were located. Florida males are more sedentary and studies have shown that some birds may spend their whole life within a four-acre territory. The only GFBWT locations where the Florida subspecies remains are Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park and Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area.
For more information, including a range map and sound recording, visit The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds website.
Recommended GFBWT sites:
This endangered subspecies is a year-round resident of dry open prairie in three central Florida counties.