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The Leconte Sparrow in New Mexico

Vester Montgomery
5 (September-October)
From Field and Study
Online Text

The Leconte Sparrow in New Mexico.-On January 25, 1953, I observed some sparrows near Roswell, New Mexico, which I thought to be Leconte Sparrows. On January 26 I returned to the area with James H. Sikes, who concurred tentatively in the identification. On January 28 we took a specimen which has now been compared with an example of Leconte Sparrow (Passerherbnlus caudaczctus) from the collection of the United States National Museum, thereby confirming the identification.

The specimen from New Mexico was taken at a point seven miles southeast of Roswell in Chaves County, one-half.mile west of the Pecos River. The habitat here consisted of heavy grass and wild sunflowers along a roadside; an open field with grass and sunflowers extended 200 yards beyond the roadside. The land was marshy, with some water nearby. One hundred or more sparrows of various species were seen in the immediate vicinity, including Savannah, Marsh, Tree, Sage, and Whitecrowned sparrows. Twenty or thirty Leconte Sparrows were seen ; perhaps there were more in the field.

The Leconte Sparrows were shy, flying low when flushed and dropping back into the grass. Som& times they rested on wire fences, and occasionally they clung to sunflower stalks.

This is the first record of the species in New Mexico. Indeed, we believe there is no record of its occurrence nearer than Utah and central Colorado.-YESTER MONTGOMERY, Roswell, New Mexico, March 1,1953. 

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