The Swamp Sparrow
is aptly named, as they are most often found in dense thickets of freshwater
swamps and wetlands. They are normally quite solitary, and while they may
be locally common, they are most often encountered as single birds or
pairs. Males will sing day or night from high perches to establish nesting
territories during the breeding season.
the summer breeding season, they are found in freshwater wetlands with dense
emergent vegetation, such as cattails and sedges, and often where woody
vegetation such as alder or willow thickets are present. A race on the
Atlantic Coast breeds in salt-water marshes. They are usually found in
similar habitats in migration and in winter.
Diet: The summer
diet is mostly insects. They also feed heavily on seeds, especially during
the fall and winter.
of its feeding is done while on the ground or at the water's edge. They
will also occasionally wade in very shallow water or feed in the dense wetland
Nesting: June and July
Migration: Summers throughout
central and eastern Canada, and the eastern U.S. north of Arkansas, Tennessee,
and Virginia. Winters in the southeastern quarter of the U.S., in parts of
the southwestern U.S., and in Mexico.
Conservation Status: Still widespread and fairly common,
although numbers are much lower than historical levels due to loss of
Cornell Lab of Ornithology - Swamp Sparrow
September 17th, 2004 -- Outdoor Campus
in Sioux Falls -- Canon 300D, 400 5.6L lens
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Swamp Sparrow photos.