Five-striped Sparrow (Amphispiza quinquestriata septentrionalis) - 22 August 2011. Montosa Canyon, Santa Rita Mountains, Santa Cruz County

This species of arid canyons in northwest Mexico occurs very locally in southwest Arizona. It prefers steep slopes with fairly heavy brush. It was first detected in Arizona in 1953 where recent population surveys have found a total of only about 60-70 individuals.

Two races are recognized. Arizona birds are said to be larger, paler and with a smaller breast spot cf. nominate birds further south. This species was recently returned to the genus Amphispiza based on genetic evidence.

The five strips for which the species is named are the white stripes on the head. Two over the eyes, two malar and one down the middle of the throat.

Digiscoped with Panasonic DMC-LZ5 | Nikon FieldScope III | 30XWA | hand-held (no adapter)
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