Endangered Species: Bachman's Sparrow 

A Christiansburg Elementary Project
Submitted by Kate
Christiansburg Elementary School, Christiansburg, U.S.A.

Bachman's Sparrow

Photography courtesy of Virginia's Endangered Species

sparrow art
Original artwork by Kate
Why Study This Topic? What Was Already Known Search for Information Description of Plant or Animal Habitat Requirements
Adaptations Reasons for Endangerment Restoration Actions What Was Learned Conclusions from Research

Why Study This Topic?

  I want to find out a lot of things about this animal. I want to find out about what it eats, what eats it, its habitat, its reason for endangerment, its restorations, and its adaptations.

 I especially want to find out its reason for endangerment and its restoration acts. I also want to find out what it looks like. I want to find out its shape, color, or colors, and size.

 Also, I would like to find out why it's called "Bachman's sparrow. That's an interesting name. It's unusual for a bird, especially a sparrow. I want to find out about the Bachman's sparrow because it sounds interesting. The name really caught my attention. It doesn't sound exotic , but it doesn't sound normal either.

 For another thing, the sparrow lives here in Virginia. It lives in other states, but it still lives in Virginia. I like sparrows, anyway. They're small, but they're tough. They defend themselves against bigger birds.

What Was Already Known

  Before the search, I already knew quite a few things about sparrows. For one thing, I knew they're birds. That's kind of obvious, though. I knew more than that. I knew that sparrows are little. They are about the size of a gold finch. They are maybe a little bigger. I also knew that sparrows are mostly brown. They might have a pinch of gray here, or a dab of white there. They are pretty dull-colored. They do have beautiful voices though. Some birds make not-so-pretty sounds like, "caw!," "Whooo?," "shriek!," "eehh!," and other bird sounds. A sparrow, on the other hand, makes a sound like "chirp," or "tweet." I knew that, like all birds and other sparrows, Bachman's sparrows heavily protect their young. They guard their nest and only go out to get food, or something else important.

Search for Information

  I searched a lot of places to find the needed information. I searched in books. Those books were encyclopedias, bird books, sparrow books, and so on. I also looked up "sparrow" on the Internet. I also found some information by observing sparrows. I probably wouldn't see a Bachman's sparrow (it being endangered), but most sparrows have the same behavior patterns about nesting, searching for food, and protecting their young.

 I ran into problems with finding information on Bachman's sparrows. That's probably because they're endangered and, therefore, aren't common. I found quite a bit of information on sparrows in general, but had trouble in finding very much information on the Bachman's sparrow in particular.


  Sparrows are little birds. They're a little bigger than half of the size of an American robin. They're about as big as a gold finch, them being in the finch family. They're a little bigger than a mouse (not counting the mouse's tail or whiskers, or the sparrow's legs). Sparrows are smaller than one would imagine.

 Sparrows' shape is like other birds such as, robins', killdeers', mockingbirds'. Their body is torpedo-shaped (not counting the wings, tail, head, or wings). When they're diving through the air, they look like launched missiles whirring in the air.

 Sparrows can have a variety of colors. It really depends on the type of sparrow. Bachman's sparrows are grayish-brown along the top of their back, tail, and head. The grayish-brown color is streaked with chestnut or dark brown coloring. Their stomach is white. Immature Bachman's sparrows' bellies are streaked. Breeding Bachman's sparrows are reddish-brown. Other sparrows have similar coloring.

Habitat Requirements

  Bachman's sparrows can eat a couple of things. The sparrows usually eat seeds. During breeding season, though, they sometimes eat insects. They might (though I don't think they would), eat an occasional berry.

 I couldn't find out how and where Bachman's sparrows got water. But I did find out Bachman's sparrows live in dry abandoned fields or plantations of young loblolly pine, so I wouldn't guess that water is their nearest neighbor.

 Their nests are built on the ground partly covered by low-down shrubs or grass tufts. The nests are built by females. The nest is often made up of horse hair, stems of grasses or herbs, and cornsilk.

 Bachman's sparrows' space is being taken away. The abandoned fields and plantations in which are the homes for the Bachman's sparrows are being cleared. The endangered birds are not only losing their space, but their homes as well.


  Sparrows have quite a few predators. Some hawks eat sparrows. Other large birds of prey do eat sparrows too. Their main predator is humans, though. It's because of people that Bachman's sparrows are endangered.

 All sparrows have a big advantage. They're dull-colored. They can blend in with their surroundings very easily.

Reasons for Endangerment

  Bachman's sparrows are endangered because of loss of habitat. Their habitats are being destroyed. The abandoned fields and plantations that they call their homes are being cleared and/or planted. The sparrows are losing their homes and their breeding habitats.

 Bachman's sparrows used to be very rare. It was very hard to find just ONE Bachman's sparrow around. Now, Bachman's sparrows are still endangered, but they made a pretty good come-back. In Virginia, breeding records are limited to Sussex County and Brunswick County.

Restoration Actions

  Restoration acts are being taken care of to protect this bird and other endangered species. People are protecting the breeding habitats of the Bachman's sparrow. I don't know of any more restoration acts except that the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries Commission is asking private owners of the abandoned fields and plantations to leave them abandoned for the sparrows.

What Was Learned

  I learned about why Bachman's sparrows were endangered. That was one of the main things I wanted to learn about.

 I also learned about it's description, habitats, adaptations, and more. It was fun to do research on this endangered sparrow. I've always liked sparrows, and I'm glad that I know more them.

 The only bad thing was that I couldn't find anything on why the Bachman's sparrow is called the Bachman's sparrow.

Conclusions From Research

  I'm glad that I picked the Bachman's sparrow to do a report on. It was fun, and I liked it. This report has helped me to get better at looking up things, especially on the Internet. I'm sure that this report will give me better experience at doing better reports in the future.

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Christiansburg Elementary
Last updated on March 12, 1997