Five-striped Sparrow

Amphispiza quinquestriata


Demography and Populations

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Measures of Breeding Activity

Age at First Breeding; Intervals Between Breeding

First breeding is presumed to occur in the year following the hatching year. After young have fledged from the first nest, the first egg is laid 5–7 d later in a second nest.


Clutches include 3–4 eggs. When first egg is laid before 14 July, clutch size is typically 3 eggs (6 of 7 nests); after 14 July, clutch size is typically 4 eggs (6 of 8 nests) (34).

Annual and Lifetime Reproductive Success

Very little information. Of 22 nests with eggs that were examined by Mills et al. (34) in southeastern Arizona, 8 nests (36%) fledged at least 1 bird, 1 nest fledged only 1 cowbird, 1 nest was destroyed by flood, 6 nests were depredated, and the outcome of 6 was unknown. In 2 successful nests, which fledged 3 young, 1 egg or nestling disappeared.

Number of Broods Normally Reared per Season

Of 9 pairs studied at Patagonia, Arizona, 1 pair nested once, 6 pairs nested twice, and 2 pairs nested three times. Although not all nestings succeeded, 1 pair raised 3 broods within a single breeding period. The proportion of females that rear > 1 brood to independence in a single breeding period is unknown.

Life Span and Survivorship

At least 3 to 4 yr for some individuals, based on repeated observations of birds banded as nestlings or adults in Arizona (KG; 34).


No information available on Mexican populations; the following is based on Arizona populations.

Natal Philopatry

Few birds banded as nestlings or fledglings have returned to their natal area.

Fidelity to Breeding Site and Overwintering Home Range

Some males and females use the same breeding territories in subsequent years; other individuals shift to other areas within the same canyon, but no banded bird has been found outside the canyon where it was originally banded.

Home Range

Some birds have been found in winter within summer breeding territories; others have been in areas away from territory, but within the same canyon. Size of home range is unknown.

Population Status


No information available on Mexican populations. The Partners in Flight Science Committee estimated the Five-striped Sparrow population within the U.S. at fewer than 50 individuals, a number based on expert opinion (47).

In southeastern Arizona, Five-striped Sparrows were recorded on surveys in 1977, 1978, 1990, 1991, and 1992 (see Appendix 1, Mills et al. (34), and Groschupf (1); during those years, summer totals in Arizona ranged from 26 to 46 males. However, after color-banding males in these canyon sites, it was determined that there were at least 47 individual males present in 1991 and 54 males in 1992 (1).


No information for Mexico and details are sparse for Arizona, with no recent surveys. In 1977, 1978, 1990, 1991, and 1992, surveys were conducted in 5 different canyons in Arizona. See Appendix 1, Mills et al. (34), and Groschupf (1). Although recorded in 1977 and 1978 at Chino Canyon, Arizona, no male Five-striped Sparrows were recorded there from 1990–1992, whereas populations appeared to be more consistent at Sycamore Canyon (Appendix 1). However, across most canyon sites, the number of males in each local population fluctuated from year to year (1), an observation also noted by Mills (29). Further, after color-banding males, it was possible to detect turnover and an influx of new males after July in all canyons (1). Such observations add to the difficulty of identifying population trends.

Population Regulation

No information.

Recommended Citation

Groschupf, K. D. (2019). Five-striped Sparrow (Amphispiza quinquestriata), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.