IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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The White-eared Ground-sparrow (Melozone leucotis) is a medium sized passerine bird that is commonly associated with dense thicket habitat. It belongs to the family Emberizidae and is found in the genus Melozone a relatively understudied genus of Neotropical birds. This species has a distribution that is documented from Mexico to Costa Rica (Stiles & Skutch 1989). M. leucotis is known to have a long breeding and nesting season that can run from the end of March to September. This species is assumed to be socially monogamous, meaning these birds mate and rear chicks in unison during the breeding season but aren’t know to form life long partnerships. M. leucotis forages and nests in the understory of densely packed thickets in unmanaged secondary forest habitats on middle elevation, pacific slope of Costa Rica. This terrestrial species is thought to be omnivorous eating a wide range of dietary supplementation from insects to fruits (Sandoval & Mennill 2012). M. leucotis is a territorial species that has been described to have a year-long territory which average around 60 x 60 meters and range from circular to rectangular patterns (Sandoval & Mennill 2012, Luis Sandoval unpublished). The association with secondary forest area lends conservation issues to this species due to the fact that successional secondary thicket habitat is not well protected or managed in this species range (Sandoval & Mennill 2012). This could lead to loss in habitat for this species, which could cause conservation concerns later on.


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