New York Natural Heritage Program
Clay-colored Sparrow
Spizella pallida (Swainson, 1832)

Threats [-]
The main threat to Clay-colored Sparrows in New York is loss of suitable habitat through succession. There are many areas in the state where farming has declined allowing for old farm fields to succeed to a shrub habitat. This has resulted in what is likely a temporary increase in suitable breeding habitat. However, without management, succession will continue and suitable shrubby areas will eventually decline. Brood parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds is another potential threat.

Conservation Strategies and Management Practices [-]
Efforts should be made to maintain habitat so that shrubs persist in areas where Clay-colored Sparrows breed. Management may include mowing or burning in patches or light grazing. Allow grasslands to remain idle to promote shrubby vegetation growth. While Clay-colored Sparrows readily use cropland to forage, they do not for nesting. It is important to retain or promote brushy edges along cropland edges for nesting (NatureServe 2007).

Research Needs [-]
Additional research is needed to determine the percentage of time Clay-colored Sparrows are breeding with Chipping Sparrows.