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Chipping Sparrow

Spizella passerina


Size & Shape The Chipping Sparrow is a slender, fairly long-tailed sparrow with a medium-sized bill that is a bit small for a sparrow. Learning the shape of this classic Spizella sparrow is a key step in mastering sparrow identification. Color Pattern Summer Chipping Sparrows look clean and crisp, with frosty underparts, pale face, black line through the eye, topped off with a bright rusty crown. In winter, Chipping Sparrows are subdued, buff brown, with darkly streaked upperparts. The black line through the eye is still visible, and the cap is a warm but more subdued reddish brown. Behavior Chipping Sparrows feed on the ground, take cover in shrubs, and sing from the tops of small trees (often evergreens). You’ll often see loose groups of them flitting up from open ground. When singing, they cling to high outer limbs. On the ground they hop or run through grasses searching for seeds. Habitat Look for Chipping Sparrows in open woodlands and forests with grassy clearings across North America. You’ll also see them in parks, along roadsides, and in your backyard, particularly if you have feeders and trees.


Birding For Fun
Birding For Fun 9 years ago

MaryEvans2 - Song sparrows can look a little rough when it is wet or cold and the stripe is very often faint. It is not uncommon for song sparrows to be confused with so many other sparrow species. The thing on this bird to notice would be the color of the legs, eye stripe and beak. Also, the feather pattern on its back, and the stripping on its breast. Sparrows are indeed tricky.

MaryEvans2 9 years ago

hmm interesting birdingforfun. the song sparrow appears to have stripe through the rufous cap on its head, where as chipping sparrow it is a solid rufous cap. the first photo doesn't appear to show the song sparrow stripe. sparrows are some of the hardest for me to ID, so you most likely are correct. Just wanted to point out why I said chipping sparrow rather than song sparrow.

Looks like the second photo on the bottom of this page:

Birding For Fun
Birding For Fun 9 years ago

I think you are both wrong. It is just a Song Sparrow.

GregMasteller 9 years ago

I think I am going to go with the Chipping Sparrow on this one. Thanks for the ID suggestions.

freelancing 9 years ago

I don't think it's a chipping sparrow - the beak isn't right. This unknown spotting has a more pronounced finch like beak. The chipping sparrow's beak is a little less robust.

MaryEvans2 9 years ago

Possibly a chipping sparrow?

Spotted by

Ohio, USA

Spotted on Apr 26, 2012
Submitted on Apr 26, 2012

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