LINCOLN’S SPARROW – (Melospiza lincolnii)
The Lincoln’s Sparrow is part of the large Passerine family. It is average in length for a sparrow, at around 12 cm (5 in.) long. The top parts and sides are grey-olive with brown streaks, and the head is brown with a grey line in the middle. There is a patch of grey above the eye, and some buff areas under it. The bill is dark grey, and the legs are beige.
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’.
The nest of this bird species is built on the ground under thick vegetation. It is difficult to find in spite of being common. Lincoln’s sparrows feed on the forest floor scratching the ground for seeds and insects.
The Lincoln’s sparrow breeds on PEI, and is fairly common or common throughout all seasons on the island except in the winter. However its main distribution range is concentrated in the western part of Canada and the USA. Its breeding area 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.