Lincoln’s Sparrow / Melospiza lincolnii

Lincoln\'s Sparrow / Melospiza lincolnii

Lincoln's Sparrow

SCI Name:  Melospiza lincolnii
Protonym:  Fringilla Lincolnii BirdsAm. 2 pl.193
Taxonomy:  Passeriformes / Passerellidae /
Taxonomy Code:  linspa
Type Locality:  Labrador [=near mouth of Natashquan River, Quebec, fide Hellmayr, 1938, Field Mus. Nat. Hist. Publ., Zool. Ser., 13, pt. 11, p. 593].
Publish Year:  1834
IUCN Status:  


(Passerellidae; Ϯ Song Sparrow M. melodia) Gr. μελος melos  song, tune; σπιζα spiza  finch  < σπιζω spizō  to chirp; "SONG SPARROW. FRINGILLA MELODIA  ...  of all our Sparrows, this is the most numerous, the most generally diffused over the United States, and by far the earliest, sweetest, and most lasting songster  ...  It is the first singing bird in spring, taking precedence even of the Pewee and Bluebird" (A. Wilson 1810); "MELOSPIZA, Baird.   CH.— Body stout. Bill conical, very obsoletely notched, or smooth; somewhat compressed. Lower mandible not so deep as the upper. Commissure nearly straight. Gonys a little curved. Feet stout, not stretching beyond the tail; tarsus a little longer than the middle toe; outer toe a little longer than the inner; its claw not quite reaching to the base of the middle one. Hind toe appreciably longer than the middle one. Wings quite short and rounded, scarcely reaching beyond the base of the tail; the tertials considerably longer than the secondaries; the quills considerably graduated; the fourth longest; the first not longer than the tertials, and almost the shortest of the primaries. Tail moderately long, and considerably graduated; the feathers oval at the tips. Crown and back similar in color and streaked; beneath thickly streaked. Tail immaculate.   This genus differs from Zonotrichia in shorter, more graduated tail, rather longer hind toe, much more rounded wing, which is shorter; the tertiaries longer; the first quill almost the shortest, and not longer than the tertials. The under parts are spotted; the crown streaked and like the back.  I have placed in this section, which has the Fringilla melodia as its type, the Fringilla palustris of Wilson." (Baird 1858).
Synon. Helospiza.

Thomas Lincoln (1812-1883) US naturalist, explorer, collector (Melospiza).


Lincoln's Sparrow (lincolnii)
SCI Name: Melospiza lincolnii lincolnii
Thomas Lincoln (1812-1883) US naturalist, explorer, collector (Melospiza).

Lincoln's Sparrow (gracilis)
SCI Name: Melospiza lincolnii gracilis
L. gracilis or gracilus  slender, elegant, slim, thin.
● “has many characters in common with the Ptilotis chrysotis ... and the Ptilotis similis ... but it differs from both in the greater slenderness of its form, in its diminutive size, and, especially from the former, in the uniform colouring of its throat and abdomen” (Gould 1866) (Microptilotis).
● ex “Gracile Goatsucker” of Latham 1801 (syn. Podargus strigoides).

Lincoln's Sparrow (alticola)
SCI Name: Melospiza lincolnii alticola
L. altus  high (i.e. highland, mountain)  < alere  to nourish; -cola  dweller  < colere  to inhabit.
● Erroneous TL. Fife, N.E. Rhodesia, near Nyasaland border (= Isoka, Northern Rhodesia / Zambia); "Cisticola alticola  ...  Not a Cisticola (cf. steeply graduated tail of long narrow feathers; broad-based, fine-pointed first primary; lores coloured with head-top, &c.), but nearer Apalis and allies." (Lynes 1930) (Apalis).