LINCOLN’S SPARROW(Melospiza lincolnii) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Lincoln’s Sparrow top parts and sides are grey-olive with brown streaks. The head is brown with a grey line in the middle. There is a grey patch above the eye, and some buff areas under it. The bill is dark grey, and the legs are beige. Sexes are similar. It is around 12 cm (5 inches) long.
NAME: The English name ‘Sparrow’ derives from Anglo-Saxon ‘Spearwa’, which means ‘flutterer’, and it has been applied to many small birds (Choate). The bird’s English name was given by John James Audubon to honor one of his friends, Thomas Lincoln. The Latin name comes from Greek ‘melos, for ‘song’, and ‘spiza’, for ‘finch’.
HABITAT: Wet meadows, forest edges.
DIET: Forage on the forest floor scratching the ground for seeds and insects.
NESTING: The nest is built on the ground under thick vegetation. Three to four light green eggs are laid, incubated by the female. Chicks fed by both parents.
DISTRIBUTION: Range is concentrated in the western part of Canada and the USA. Breeding range includes mainly Canada up to the tree line. During migration it can be observed across most of the USA, and in the winter it migrates to south-central USA and Mexico.
ON PEI: Breeds on Prince Edward Island and fairly common or common except in the winter.
CONSERVATION: Population would be around 70 million, appears stable, not at risk.
NOTES: The Lincoln’s sparrow is part of the large Passerine family.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Savannah Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow
REFERENCES: (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas (Lincoln’s Sparrow) (Missouri Department of Conservation)

Lincoln's sparrow at bird feeder - photo by Linda Tanner
Lincoln’s sparrow at bird feeder – photo by Linda Tanner
Lincoln's Sparrow - Anderson Road, PEI - May 18, 2018 - © Roberta Palmer
Lincoln’s Sparrow – Anderson Road, PEI – May 18, 2018 – Roberta Palmer