Song Sparrow
Melospiza melodia
Family Emberizidae

A common sparrow of backyards and gardens, the Song Sparrow can be easily spotted by its large, brown central-spot. As its name suggests, it is a relentless singer throughout the spring and summer.

Identifying Traits (both sexes):

  • Thick, brown breast streaks that converge into large brown spot on center of breast
  • Large brown malar stripes on sides of whitish throat
  • Long tail
  • Juvenile: Will often have finer breast streaks
  • Size: 12-17 cm (5-7")
  • Weight: 12-53 g (0.42-1.8 oz)

Voice: Song intricate, long, and musical. Includes series of trills, clear notes, and buzzes. Call a heavy seeet.

Habitat: Thickets, brush, roadsides, and common in gardens.

Range: The Song Sparrow can be found throughout the continental United States.


Interesting Facts: Most songbirds, including the Song Sparrow, use their songs to both defend their territory and attract mates. Studies have shown that male Song Sparrows are more likely to attract females if their songs display a more advanced ability to learn. Those males that have more learned components in their song, and whose song more resemble their tutors’ (the adult birds from whom they learned their song) are preferred over other males. 



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