Striped Sparrow Oriturus superciliosus Scientific name definitions

D. Alexander Carrillo Martínez, Zayra Arery Guadalupe Muñoz González, Cody Smith, David L. Slager, and Andrew J. Spencer
Version: 3.0 — Published February 9, 2024

Plumages, Molts, and Structure


The following is based on Ridgway (3), Byers et al. (2), Howell and Webb (1), and Rising (4), and refers to the nominate subspecies, though subspecies differ little in appearance (see Systematics: Geographic Variation and Systematics: Subspecies).


Juveniles are buffier overall than adult, with dusky, dark-brown streaking or flecking on the breast and flanks. The juvenile head pattern is duller than adults, with the upperparts less neatly marked. Described as grayer than the adult, with lower throat, breast, belly, and flanks thinly streaked with black (4).

Adult/First Year

The lores and auriculars are blackish, forming a mask, but white streaks on the rear auriculars can make it appear diffuse or gray at a distance. The crown is rufous with fine black streaks and a narrow gray median stripe, and separated from the auricular mask by a long, broad, creamy white supercilium. The nape and sides of the neck are light grayish streaked with black. The mantle and scapular feathers are buffy brown with heavy black streaks formed by the black feather centers and paler streaks formed by the pale gray feather edges. The lesser coverts are warm brown with pale gray edgings, the primary coverts are blackish with rather broad pale buff edges, and the greater and median coverts are similar to the primary coverts, but with whitish tips that form obscure wingbars. The alula is blackish with a broad white outer edge, and the bend of the wing is white. The remiges are blackish with narrow grayish-white edges to the primaries, narrow buff-brown edges to the secondaries, and the tertials appearing similar to secondaries but with the edges becoming almost whitish at the tips. The tail is quite long and rounded; the rectrices are dark brown with buff-brown edges, with edges broadest on central rectrices, which also have a wavy cross-barring pattern. The outer rectrices have more contrastingly buff outer webs and tips than other rectrices. The underparts are generally pale grayish white, but whitest at the throat and central belly. Flanks and undertail coverts washed buffy. Sexes alike.


Little information. Adults have a complete molt, most likely after the breeding season (2). Unknown are the extent of the post-juvenile molt and aging criteria after the post-juvenile molt is complete; prealternate molt is probably absent (2).

Bare Parts


Bill entirely black (2, 4).

Iris and Facial Skin

Iris is brownish (per illustration in 1).

Tarsi and Toes

Tarsi are pale brown (2, 1) or pinkish (4).


Linear Measurements

From Ridgway (3), based on 10 individuals per sex:

Wing Length (Wing Chord)

  • Mean for female 76.0 mm (range 73.7–80.8), male 78.7 mm (range 75.7–81.8)

Tail Length

  • Mean for female 67.3 mm (range 63.5–70.6), male 70.4 mm (range 67.3–73.2)

Bill Length (Exposed Culmen)

  • Mean for female 14.7 mm (range 13.2–15.5), male 15.2 mm (range 13.2–15.5)

Tarsus Length

  • Mean for female 26.0 mm (range 24.9–27.4), male 25.7 mm (range 23.4–27.9)


  • Mean for female 39.5 g (range 36.9–41.5, n = 7), male 43.3 g (range 38.6–53.7, n = 4) (5, 6, 7)

Recommended Citation

Carrillo Martínez, D. A., Z. A. G. Muñoz González, C. Smith, D. L. Slager, and A. J. Spencer (2024). Striped Sparrow (Oriturus superciliosus), version 3.0. In Birds of the World (B. K. Keeney and P. G. Rodewald, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.
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