Song Sparrow

Scientific Name: Melospiza melodia

Diet: Song Sparrows eat a variety of seeds and bugs. The bugs they eat include grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetles, weevils, crane flies, dragon flies, and spiders, and the seeds and plant foods Song Sparrows eat include wheat, sunflower seeds, rice, and a variety of berries. In winter Song Sparrows eat more seeds, and in summer they eat more insects.

Sound: The Song Sparrow’s song is two clear, bell-like notes, followed by a short trill. The song is 2 to 4 seconds long, and varies from place to place. The alarm call is a sharp chip!.

Habitat: Song Sparrows live in a variety of scrubby areas including shrubby gardens, chaparral, city parks, greenbelts, forest edges, suburban areas, and thickets.

Behavior: The Song Sparrow is a ground forager, and often hops around with its tail cocked up, flitting from thicket to thicket. Song Sparrows pump their tails downward as they fly.

Nesting: The nest is placed on the ground or in a shrub up to 4 feet above the ground. The female Song Sparrow builds the nest out of weeds, leaves, grass, and bark, and she lines it with hair, rootlets, and grass. The nest takes about 4 days to build, and it is 4 to 8 inches across when its finished. Song Sparrows can lay up to 3 clutches in a season.

Description/field mark: Song Sparrows are about 4 to 6 inches long, and have wingspans of about 7 to 9 inches. They have brown tails, wings, and backs. The wings and backs are streaked with dark brown and black. Song Sparrows have brown eye lines and white supercilia with brown crowns. The cheeks are striped. On a Song Sparrow’s breast there is a large brown spot, and the rest of the breast is speckled and streaked.  Song Sparrows also have streaked sides, and the undersides are white.

How to attract: To attract Song Sparrows put a seed feeder near shrubs or a thicket, or plant shrubs in your garden.

song sparrow

song sparrow

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