The little Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) is easy to identify by sound (the call is similar to a tiny hiccup), but hard to find in tall prairie grass. It has declined by more than 80% since 1966 and its habitat is all but gone. Sprawling cities, farms, and reforestation have all contributed to loss of prairie and its inhabitants. The Henslow’s wintering areas, southeastern United States savanna and pine habitats are being replaced by non-native species, causing more trouble for the sparrow.
One thing we can do to help the Henslow’s Sparrow is to support the increase of conservation provisions of the Farm Bill where farmers are paid to leave grassland habitats unplowed and unmowed.
The Henslow’s Sparrow needs more restored prairie and wintering ground habitats. The Midwest is in need of much more prairie and savanna restoration projects.