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Henslow's Sparrow
(Ammodramus henslowii)


Picture of bird
© John Reaume

In Canada, the Henslow's Sparrow breeds in very small numbers in grassland habitats in southern Ontario. The Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario detected a large decrease in the population's occurrence between the mid-1980s and the mid-2000s. In 2000, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assessed the species as Endangered based on its small population and threats to its habitat (Environment Canada 2006).


Listing of the main designations for the species.
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies / Population
COSEWIC (Canada)Endangered2000 
IUCN (Global)Near threatened2009 
Partners in Flight (North America)Stewardship Species
Watch List Species
Wildspecies (Canada)At Risk2005 

Population status

Population status relative to circa 1970
Geographical areaStatusReliability
CanadaLarge DecreaseHigh

Population estimate


Distribution maps


Migration strategy

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility (based on Canadian % of global population)


Conservation and management

The main threat to the Henslow's Sparrow is the loss and degradation of moist, grassy habitats, both on its breeding and wintering ranges (Cadman et al. 2007, Herkert et al. 2002, Environment Canada 2006). Habitat management programs have been undertaken in Ontario to increase the area of grassland through shrub removal and mowing (Environment Canada 2006). Prescribed burns have been used on the wintering grounds in the United States to improve and maintain savanna habitats (Herkert et al. 2002). For information on the legal status of this species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) see the SARA Registry


Bird Conservation Plans

Information on this and other species has been compiled by ecoregion through the Bird Conservation planning process. For more details, click Bird Conservation Plans.