Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia

Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia

This common and abundant sparrow shows a wide range of geographical variation. There are 34 recognized races, most with the same basic pattern of brown-and-white plumage. One race from the Aleutian Islands, however, looks almost like a different species altogether: It is much larger and darker than the typical form, with a longer bill.

Identification Brown above with grayish streaks; white below with heavy brown streaking and large spot at center of breast. Tail usually has more reddish brown than back.

Voice Song has 3 sweet notes followed by a lower note and a trill. Call note a chimp.

Habitat Thickets, forest edges, marshes, gardens, and city parks.

Range Breeding range from S. Alaska through S. Canada to Newfoundland; south to S. California, New Mexico, NE. Kansas, and North Carolina. Winters from southern half of breeding range to Mexico and Florida.

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