Buntings and New World Sparrows (Emberizidae)

Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus) - HBW 16, p. 563

French: Bruant vespéral German: Abendammer Spanish: Chingolo Coliblanco
Other common names: Oregon Vesper Sparrow (affinis)

Taxonomy: Fringilla graminea J. F. Gmelin, 1789, New York, USA.
Perhaps close to Melospiza and some Ammodramus species. Geographical variation largely clinal. Proposed race altus (described from Kendrick Park, in NC Arizona), treated as a synonym of confinis. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • confinis S. F. Baird, 1858 - breeds in SW Canada (C British Columbia and SW Mackenzie E through C Saskatchewan and S Manitoba to W Ontario) and S in USA to CE California, C Nevada, C Arizona, C New Mexico, E Colorado and W Nebraska; non-breeding from S edge of breeding range (California E to New Mexico) and from S Texas S in Mexican highlands (to Oaxaca), occasionally to Guatemala.
  • affinis G. S. Miller, 1888 - breeds in W Washington and W Oregon (W USA); non-breeding from C California (W of Sierra Nevada) S to NW Mexico (NW Baja California, possibly also Chihuahua).
  • gramineus (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) - breeds in SE Canada (NE Ontario and S Quebec E to Prince Edward I and N Nova Scotia) and E USA from N Minnesota E to Maine and S to C Missouri, C Kentucky, NE Tennessee, C North Carolina and S Virginia; non-breeding from S part of breeding range S to C Texas and Gulf Coast.