Chipping Sparrow

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Spizella passerine

Chipping Sparrow

The Chipping Sparrow is a species of American sparrow that is widespread, fairly tame, and common across most of its North American range.

Breeding adult has a bright chestnut crown, white conspicuous eyebrow, and a fine black line from the bill, through the eye, to ear.  Cheeks and nape are gray. It has gray rump and two white wing bars. The tail is long and notched.

Winter adult has darker cheeks and black-streaked crown. Underparts are whitish in all plumages. Eyes are black. Conical and pointed bill is blackish. Legs and feet are pale brown.

Both sexes are similar, with female duller than male.

Juveniles have streaked underparts and rump, and crown lacks chestnut color.

The Chipping Sparrows are 4.7 - 5.1 inches long, having a wingspan of 7.5 - 8.3 inches and weight of 11 - 15 grams.

CALL: A high, hard “seep” or “tsik”.

SONG: A rapid, dry trill on one pitch “chip”. Speed and length may vary. 
Occasionally, Chipping Sparrow sings at night. 

Feeds on the seeds of grasses and weeds at all seasons. Diet during the summer breeding season is mostly insects and spiders. Waste grain will be taken if available, and occasionally they may feed on small fruits and berries.

Found on lawns, grassy fields, orchards and parks. In their natural habitat, they are common along woodlands edges, dry open woodlands, in pine-oak forests, and along river and lakes shores. It winters in similar habitat.

Breeds from eastern Alaska, through Canada, southwards to the southern United States, and into Mexico and Central America.

Winters in Mexico, Central America and in the southern United States.

The female builds a small cup-shaped nest with grasses, weeds, roots and other vegetative material.

She lays 3 - 4 pale blue eggs, spotted with brown. Incubation lasts about 11 - 14 days, by female, fed by male during this period.

Chicks hatch altricial, and are fed by both parents for 9 - 12 days, and young fledge at this time. Both adults feed them for about three weeks more.


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