SWAMP SPARROW

SWAMP SPARROW(Melospiza georgiana) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The breeding Swamp Sparrow has a brown-rusty cap and upper parts with an unstreaked grey breast and belly. Outside the breeding season the cap is brown with a thin grey line in the middle (see photo below). The face is grey and there is a dark band going through the eye. Sexes are similar. It measures around 14 cm (5 inches) long.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Melospiza-georgiana
NAME: The English name ‘Sparrow’ derives from Anglo-Saxon ‘Spearwa’, which means ‘flutterer’. The Latin genus name ‘Melospiza’ means ‘song’ and ‘finch’, and the Latin species name ‘georgiana’ refers to King George II of Great-Britain.
HABITAT: Wetlands (fresh or brackish) such as bogs, marshes.
DIET: Forages into shallow water for invertebrates. Also feeds on the ground for insects, seeds and berries.
NESTING: The nest is placed in dense vegetation above the water. Between two and six light green eggs are laid, incubated by the female. Chicks fed by both parents.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeds in Canada up to the tree line and east of the Rockies, also northeast USA. Winters in southeast USA and in Mexico.
Distribution map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swamp_sparrow#/media/File:Melospiza_georgiana_map.svg
ON PEI: Breeds and Prince Edward Island and fairly common except in the winter.
CONSERVATION: Population levels appear stable or have increased, yet wetland conservation still important.
NOTES: The long legs of this sparrow allow it to wade into shallow water. Mix with other sparrows during migration.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Chipping Sparrow, American Tree Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Field Sparrow
REFERENCES: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Swamp_Sparrow/id
https://www.mba-aom.ca/jsp/toc.jsp (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/swamp-sparrow (Missouri Department of Conservation)
https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/swamp-sparrow
American Bird Conservancy (Swamp Sparrow)
http://fieldguide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=ABPBXA3030 (Montana Field Guide)
Minnesota Breeding Bird Atlas (Swamp Sparrow)
http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/614/_/Swamp_Sparrow.aspx

Swamp sparrow - Margate area, PEI - Sept. 15, 2016 - by Chris Rice
Swamp sparrow – Margate area, PEI – Sept. 15, 2016 – by Chris Rice
Swamp Sparrow close up of non-breeding adult - Margate area, PEI - Sept. 15, 2016
Swamp Sparrow close up of non-breeding adult – Margate area, PEI – Sept. 15, 2016 – Chris Rice
Swamp Sparrow juvenile - Central PEI - Aug. 29, 2017 - © Chris Rice
Swamp Sparrow juvenile – Central PEI – Aug. 29, 2017 – Chris Rice

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