It is endemic to Mexico, where its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland. It is more abundant in second growth than in undisturbed forest. The species was introduced to Oahu in 1941 but did not persist, and was extirpated by 1952.
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- BirdLife International (2012). "Passerina leclancherii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Hutto, R. (1989). The Effect of Habitat Alteration on Migratory Land Birds in a West Mexican Tropical Deciduous Forest: A Conservation Perspective. Conservation Biology. vol 3, no 2. p. 138-148
- Simberloff, D. & Boecklen, W. (1991) Patterns of Extinction in the Introduced Hawaiian Avifauna: A Reexamination of the Role of Competition. The American Naturalist. vol 138, no 2. p. 300-327