Buntings and New World Sparrows (Emberizidae)

Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina) - HBW 16, p. 558

French: Bruant familier German: Schwirrammer Spanish: Chingolo Cejiblanco

Taxonomy: Fringilla passerina Bechstein, 1798, Quebec City, Canada.
Probably closely related to S. pallida and S. breweri, and individuals of the three in first-winter plumage difficult to differentiate. Geographical variation rather minimal, and in North America clinal, with slight increase in darkness from W to E; also substantial individual variation within populations. Proposed races stridula (described from Pasadena, California) and boreophila (from Fort Simpson, Mackenzie, in Canada) are considered synonyms of arizonae, comparanda (from SE Nayarit, in W Mexico) is included within atremaea, repetens .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Fringilla passerina Bechstein, 1798, Quebec City, Canada.
Probably closely related to S. pallida and S. breweri, and individuals of the three in first-winter plumage difficult to differentiate. Geographical variation rather minimal, and in North America clinal, with slight increase in darkness from W to E; also substantial individual variation within populations. Proposed races stridula (described from Pasadena, California) and boreophila (from Fort Simpson, Mackenzie, in Canada) are considered synonyms of arizonae, comparanda (from SE Nayarit, in W Mexico) is included within atremaea, repetens (from R Molino in S Oaxaca, in Mexico) is subsumed in mexicana, and cicada (from near Chalatenango, in NW El Salvador) is synonymized with pinetorum. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • arizonae Coues, 1872 - breeds in E Alaska, W & C Canada (from W Yukon and C Mackenzie E to N Saskatchewan, N Manitoba and W Ontario) and W USA (E to W & C Texas), S to Mexico (N Baja California, NW Sonora, SW Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila); non-breeding from SW USA (C California, S Nevada, C & SE Arizona, C New Mexico and C Texas) S to S Baja California and highlands of Mexico (S to Oaxaca).
  • passerina (Bechstein, 1798) - breeds in N Minnesota, N Michigan and SE Canada (C Ontario and S Quebec E to SW Newfoundland) S in USA to S Oklahoma, SE Texas, C Louisiana, S Mississippi, NW Florida, C Georgia and SE South Carolina; non-breeding from Oklahoma and Arkansas E to Virginia and Maryland S to S Florida, Gulf Coast and NE Mexico (Nuevo León and Tamaulipas).
  • atremaea R. T. Moore, 1937 - W Mexico in Sierra Madre Occidental from S Chihuahua and S Durango E to C Nuevo León and S to Aguascalientes and NE Jalisco.

     See all 5 subspecies
  • arizonae Coues, 1872 - breeds in E Alaska, W & C Canada (from W Yukon and C Mackenzie E to N Saskatchewan, N Manitoba and W Ontario) and W USA (E to W & C Texas), S to Mexico (N Baja California, NW Sonora, SW Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila); non-breeding from SW USA (C California, S Nevada, C & SE Arizona, C New Mexico and C Texas) S to S Baja California and highlands of Mexico (S to Oaxaca).
  • passerina (Bechstein, 1798) - breeds in N Minnesota, N Michigan and SE Canada (C Ontario and S Quebec E to SW Newfoundland) S in USA to S Oklahoma, SE Texas, C Louisiana, S Mississippi, NW Florida, C Georgia and SE South Carolina; non-breeding from Oklahoma and Arkansas E to Virginia and Maryland S to S Florida, Gulf Coast and NE Mexico (Nuevo León and Tamaulipas).
  • atremaea R. T. Moore, 1937 - W Mexico in Sierra Madre Occidental from S Chihuahua and S Durango E to C Nuevo León and S to Aguascalientes and NE Jalisco.
  • mexicana Nelson, 1899 - highlands of C & S Mexico from Nayarit, NC Jalisco, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Hidalgo and E Veracruz S to Chiapas, and NW Guatemala.
  • pinetorum Salvin, 1863 - NE Guatemala (E Petén), Belize, Honduras, N El Salvador and NE Nicaragua.