Inhabits open areas, avoiding areas with extensive tree cover. Prefers habitat with short to intermediate vegetation height, intermediate vegetation density, and a well developed litter layer (NatureServe 2007b). In northern regions of its range, found in dwarf willows or birch and feeds readily in conifers (Wheelwright and Rising 1993). Also breeds in grasslands, weedy fields, edges of ponds, small lakes, and swamps, alpine meadows, and subalpine tundra (Campbell et al. 2001). On the North Slopes of the Yukon, commonly found in moist to wet sedge tundra, in association with wet drainages or patterned ground (Alexander et al. 2003). Widespread in Alaska from seashore to mountain ridges (Armstrong 2008). In B.C., breeds from near sea level to 2,010 m elevation (Campbell et al. 2001).
Alexander, S. A., F. I. Doyle, C. D. Ecker, H. Grünberg, N. L. Hughes, M. Jensen, I. Johnson, D. H. Mossop, W. A. Nixon, and P. H. Sinclair. 2003. Birds of the Yukon Territory (P. H. Sinclair, W. A. Nixon, C. D. Eckert, and N. L. Hughes, eds.). UBC Press, Vancouver, B.C.
Armstrong, R. H. 2008. Guide to the birds of Alaska. 5th edition. Alaska Northwest Books, Anchorage, AK. 360 pp.
Campbell, R. W., N. K. Dawe, I. McTaggart-Cowan, J. M. Cooper, G. W. Kaiser, A. C. Stewart, and M. C. E. McNall. 2001. The Birds of British Columbia. Volume 4. Passerines: wood-warblers through Old World sparrows. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver. 739 pages.
NatureServe. 2007b. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 6.2. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://www.natureserve.org/explorer.
Wheelwright, N. T., and J. D. Rising. 1993. Savannah Sparrow (PASSERCULUS SANDWICHENSIS). In The Birds of North America, No. 45 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington, D.C.: The American Ornithologists’ Union.