SONG SPARROW

SONG SPARROW (Melospiza melodia)

The song sparrow breeds in our regions, and migrates south during the winter. As its Latin name implies, its song is ‘melodious’ and diversified. As opposed to other songbirds who are usually silent in the middle of the day on hot summer days, this bird will happily send out a few tunes. But it will be silent in the fall, except for a repeated ‘chirp’ call as heard in the video below. The song sparrow is easily attracted to bird feeders for black sunflower seed. As with other sparrows, its bill is that of a seed eater. It usually forages on the ground, although some bold individuals try to hang on to the wire mesh of the feeder, but not for long. The adults have a dark brown spot in the middle of the breast.

Photographer Marie Smith has this to say about the song sparrows below: they had a nest under our hedge at the front of the house. They both worked to bring food. However, the birds didn’t trust us. Any time we were outside when they came around with food for the chicks, they would not go near the nest area. They stayed around with beaks full of food until we went away. The pair was protective of the nest site (photo on the left).

Song Sparrow with meal for its chicks - Summerside, PEI - June 16, 2016 - © Marie Smith
Song Sparrow with meal for its chicks – Summerside, PEI – June 16, 2016 – © Marie Smith

 

Song sparrow singing - Cavendish, PEI - Apr. 13, 2017 - by Matt Beardsley
Song sparrow singing – Cavendish, PEI – Apr. 13, 2017 – by Matt Beardsley
Song Sparrow bringing meal to its chicks - Summerside, PEI - June 2016 - © Marie Smith
Song Sparrow bringing meal to its chicks – Summerside, PEI – June 2016 – © Marie Smith
Song Sparrow nest - Summerside, PEI - June 2016 - © Marie Smith
Song Sparrow nest – Summerside, PEI – June 2016 – © Marie Smith
Song sparrows on top of stakes - Stratford, PEI, 2009
Song sparrows on top of stakes – Stratford, PEI, 2009 – Denise Motard

This first video below shows a song sparrow chirping continuously – an alarm call which is heard in the fall mostly (but not here).

This video below shows a song sparrow eating black sunflower seeds in the snow on a March 11 (2014). This bird is uncommon in the winter as per the PEI Field Checklist of Birds, but with food available from bird feeders it likely changes the stats.

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