The Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark breeds in southern Canada, much of the United States, Northern Mexico and Asia. It is much less common in the east, where its range is contracting.
Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark is distinctive. Adults have a typically sparrow-like dark-streaked brown back, and white underparts except for a dark central spot. The cheeks and crown sides are chestnut, with white eyebrow and crown stripes. The dark tail's corners are also white. Young Ashy-crowned Sparrow Larks are duller, and the underparts are streaked.
These birds forage on the ground or in low bushes. They mainly eat seeds, but insects, including grasshoppers are also eaten in the breeding season. They form flocks on migration or in winter.
The breeding habitat is a variety of open habitats including grasslands and cultivation. Ashy-crowned Sparrow Larks nest on the ground, laying 3-6 eggs in a grass cup nest sheltered by a clump of grass or other vegetation. The eggs are white with black scrawling.