Although it will make short flights, the saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow is most commonly encountered walking, running and hopping along the ground as it forages amongst the dense stands of saltmarsh vegetation for insects, spiders, marine invertebrates and seeds (4) (5).
The male saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow is promiscuous and sings throughout the nesting period, from mid-May to early August, in order to attract females (4). After mating, the female uses dry grass and seaweed to construct a cup-like nest that is attached to shrubs or grass stems, six to fifteen centimetres above the ground. The female carries out all parental care, incubating the clutch of three to five eggs for 11 to 12 days, and subsequently providing food for the chicks (2) (4). Because saltmarshes along the east coast of the U.S.A. experience a monthly flood tide, the saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow must either place its nest well above the highest water level, or complete its reproductive cycle, from egg laying to fledging, in the period between successive flood tides (7).