CHIPPING SPARROW – (Spizella passerina)
The Chipping sparrow is a small passerine bird with a rusty cap, an eye black band and a light grey band above the eye. The neck, breast and belly are grey and the top parts brown with light beige borders on each feather. The tail is rather long and forked. The bill is dark and the legs are beige. Both sexes are similar, and winter plumage is duller. The size of the chipping sparrow is between that of a Song sparrow and a Black-capped chickadee.
NAME: The English name ‘Sparrow’ derives from Anglo-Saxon ‘Spearwa’, which means ‘flutterer’, and it has been applied to many small birds (Choate).
Their habitat is generally the woodland forest interspersed with open spaces. They are ground foragers, feeding on seeds. They will add insects and arthropods to their diet during breeding season for extra protein. They also forage for buds on trees. They song is a long trill.
The chipping sparrow breeds in PEI and is common in the summer. The nest is usually low in a tree or shrub, and is made of loosely assembled material. It is widespread in North America and migrates partially to Mexico and the Caribbean for the winter. They gather in flocks outside the breeding season and can be seen around bird feeders.