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

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


Befitting its rather unique taxonomic position, the vocal repertoire of the Striped Sparrow is poorly understood, complex, and unlike that of any other related species. In addition to a rather variable song, the species has a myriad of call notes that defy easy categorization.



No information.

Vocal Array

Primary Song. The song starts with 1–3 nasal "beeps" (but may lack introductory notes) that precede a fast rattling trill with a duration of 0.75–2.5 s. This is represented as tiuk tiuk drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (2, 1). Some variation in the speed of the terminal rattling trill, with most versions being fast, while others are notably slower. The initial nasal notes often given singly in between strophes of the full song. Occasionally gives a more complex song that initiates with 2–3 different types of intro notes before continuing into the main chattering trill and then finishing with a final longer more slurred note.

Flight song. Rarely reported, the flight song, given during a short flight display, is similar to the Primary Song, but initiates with several high-pitched notes given during the ascending portion of the flight display, before segueing into the more typical rattling trill as it descends. The whole song lasts ~5–6 s, and in the single known recording is given singly. More study needed to assess the range of variation of the Flight Song, as well as its presumed function and frequency of use.

Song-like calls. By far the most commonly heard type of call, a catch-all and confusing group of vocalizations with immense variation both in terms of note types and pattern. One common pattern begins with the same note is given many times in a row, before a new note type is introduced into the mix, and then another new note type, and so on. Other examples begin with almost immediate variety between a few note types in no apparent pattern. May in fact represent a simple song, as somewhat reminiscent of the Simple Song of Botteri's Sparrow (Peucaea botterii), or certain parts of the Excited Song of Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca). More research is needed to figure out the actual size of an individual's repertoire of calls, and whether different delivery patterns have separate functions.

Tink. A very high-pitched (~8–10 kHz), sharp tink note, typically given many times in succession, most often by alarmed birds. Similar notes often incorporated into bouts of Song-like calls.

Chatter. When alarmed, sometimes gives a fast series of chattering notes, somewhat similar to the trill part of the Primary Song, but typically harsher, faster, and longer (52, 28). Chatter can be given by several birds at once, and sometimes leads into Primary Song, or Song-like calls.

Geographic Variation

None reported.


No information.

Daily Pattern of Vocalizing

No daily change in vocalizations noted; singing starts before dawn and uses same vocalizations until after dusk (28, DACM).

Places of Vocalizing

Alarm calls and songs are often delivered from a prominent perch on trees or tall bunchgrasses (2, 61). Often vocalizes from Juniperus deppeana, Muhlenbergia macroura, and Quercus rugosa (28).

Sex Differences

None reported.

Repertoire and Delivery of Songs

No information.

Social Context and Presumed Functions of Vocalizations

Little information. When there is a disruption in the area (e.g., bird of prey, human, or a medium to large mammal), sentinels emit the Alarm Call, which causes foraging individuals to stop their activity until the disruption has passed (see Behavior: Predation) (52, 28).

Nonvocal Sounds

None known.

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. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.strspa1.03