Botteri's Sparrow (Peucaea botterii), a tall-grassland specialist, was widely distributed in Arizona in the early 19th Century, including as far north as Oracle, before overgrazing in the 1880s and 1890s destroyed much of its habitat. It temporarily disappeared from the state with only one report of 2 birds between 1893 and 1932. Gradually, it began to be reported again in Arizona, and the first documented nesting in the 20th century was in 1967 in Gardner Canyon on the east side of the Santa Rita Mountains. By the 1970s Botteriā€™s Sparrow had become locally common, particularly in stands of giant sacaton grass (Sporobolus wrightii). Since then, nesting has been confirmed in semiarid grasslands, many of them lacking giant sacaton, in the southeastern part of the state, mostly in Santa Cruz, Cochise, and southeastern Pima counties.

Botteri's Sparrow
Botteri's Sparrow. Photo by Tim DeJonghe.