Le Conte's Sparrow
(Ammodramus leconteii)


Picture of bird
© Kevin Hannah - License
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

Le Conte's Sparrow is a secretive species of open, grassy habitats in the Canadian Prairie provinces, with small, scattered populations in Ontario and Quebec. The Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) is the primary source of monitoring data for this species in Canada, the results of which suggest a moderate decrease in population since 1970.  However, because the BBS covers only a portion of the species' population in Canada, and results from other surveys conflict, this assessment is considered to have low reliability. There are no known conservation concerns for the species at this time. With over 80% of the global breeding population, Canada's responsibility for this species is very high. This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.


Listing of the main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least Concern2012 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2010 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic areaStatusReliability
CanadaModerate DecreaseLow

Population estimate

Canada5,000,000 to 50,000,000 adults

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation of world population

CanadaVery High

Conservation and management

Although not sensitive to patch size or amount of forest nearby (Winter et al. 2005), annual mowing of its tall grass habitat can impact abundance of Le Conte's Sparrow (Dale et al. 1997, Lowther 2005). Burning decreases numbers in the short term (Grant et al. 2010) but overall appears to have a positive influence on presence and abundance of the species, probably due to reduction of encroaching woody vegetation and stimulation of grass growth (Madden et al. 1999).


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Boreal Taiga PlainsBoreal Taiga Plains, sub-region and priority type: Prairie and Northern Region
Prairie PotholesPrairie Potholes, sub-region and priority type: Prairie and Northern Region
Taiga Shield and Hudson PlainsTaiga Shield and Hudson Plains, sub-region and priority type: Quebec Region