Buntings and New World Sparrows (Emberizidae)

Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus) - HBW 16, p. 553

French: Bruant maritime German: Strandammer Spanish: Chingolo Costero
Other common names: Common Seaside Sparrow (maritimus); Dusky Seaside Sparrow (extinct race nigrescens); Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (mirabilis)

Taxonomy: Fringilla maritima A. Wilson, 1811, Great Egg Harbor, New Jersey, USA.
Genus, as currently delimited, is probably polyphyletic. Molecular studies suggest that this species is in a clade with A. nelsoni, A. caudacutus and A. leconteii; hybrid with A. caudacutus has been described. Distinctive races mirabilis and recently extinct nigrescens have been considered to represent two further species. Otherwise, races along Atlantic coast not well marked, nor are those on Gulf of Mexico, but the two groups are clearly different from each other; racial differences, however, confused by individual variation and plumage dichromatism .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Fringilla maritima A. Wilson, 1811, Great Egg Harbor, New Jersey, USA.
Genus, as currently delimited, is probably polyphyletic. Molecular studies suggest that this species is in a clade with A. nelsoni, A. caudacutus and A. leconteii; hybrid with A. caudacutus has been described. Distinctive races mirabilis and recently extinct nigrescens have been considered to represent two further species. Otherwise, races along Atlantic coast not well marked, nor are those on Gulf of Mexico, but the two groups are clearly different from each other; racial differences, however, confused by individual variation and plumage dichromatism (buffy and grey morphs). Seven extant subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • maritimus (A. Wilson, 1811) - breeds coastal E USA from New Hampshire and Massachusetts S to extreme N North Carolina; non-breeding S to NE Florida.
  • macgillivraii (Audubon, 1834) - North Carolina S to extreme SE Georgia.
  • sennetti J. A. Allen, 1888 - coastal S Texas (from Aransas County S to Nueces Bay); winters S to mouth of R Grande and to extreme NE Mexico (NE Tamaulipas).

     See all 7 subspecies
  • maritimus (A. Wilson, 1811) - breeds coastal E USA from New Hampshire and Massachusetts S to extreme N North Carolina; non-breeding S to NE Florida.
  • macgillivraii (Audubon, 1834) - North Carolina S to extreme SE Georgia.
  • sennetti J. A. Allen, 1888 - coastal S Texas (from Aransas County S to Nueces Bay); winters S to mouth of R Grande and to extreme NE Mexico (NE Tamaulipas).
  • fisheri Chapman, 1899 - San Antonio Bay (Refugio County), in SE Texas, E to SW Alabama; non-breeding SW to Nueces County, in Texas.
  • juncicola (Griscom & Nichols, 1920) - coastal NW Florida from Escambia County E to Taylor County.
  • peninsulae J. A. Allen, 1888 - W Florida from about Dixie County S to Old Tampa Bay.
  • mirabilis (A. H. Howell, 1919) - SW Florida from vicinity of Everglades SE (formerly) to Cape Sable.