The diet of Lincoln’s sparrow differs depending on the season, with mostly arthropods, such as beetles, flies, butterflies, mayflies and leaf hoppers being taken during the breeding season (3) (4). In winter, the diet changes and individuals take small seeds and any invertebrates that are available (2) (3) (4). Foraging is performed on or close to the ground, and is usually done in pairs or small groups (2).
A migratory species, Lincoln’s sparrow begins its southward migration in early September and usually reaches its overwintering grounds by late October. Northward migration back to the breeding grounds begins in mid- to late April and is completed by late May (2) (4). A pair bond is then formed between a male and female, who are then thought to remain monogamous throughout the breeding season (2) (3) (4).
The female Lincoln’s sparrow begins to build the nest in early June (4) and usually completes the structure in around three days (2) (3) (4). The nest is placed on the ground or slightly elevated within a shrub and is cup-shaped (2), with an outer layer made of sedge and grass and a contrasting interior, which is made using softer vegetation (2) (3) as well as hair (2). If the female is disturbed during the period of nest construction, it is likely that the nest will be abandoned (3). An average Lincoln’s sparrowclutch contains between three and five off-white to pale blue eggs, which may be patterned with dark brown spots (2). The female incubates the eggs (2) (4), which hatch after between 10 and 13 days (2) (3). The chicks are then fed by both the male and female (2), and usually remain in the nest for up to 11 days before fledging (2) (3) (4). Once they have left the nest, it may take the young up to six days to learn to fly and until then they remain hidden in vegetation to protect themselves from predators. Most young have usually fledged by early August (4).