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Chipping Sparrow

Spizella passerina

Length: 5.5 inches Wingspan: 8.5 inches Seasonality: Summer
ID Keys: Chestnut cap, white eyebrow, black eyeline, two white wing bars

Chipping Sparrow - Spizella passerinaChipping Sparrows are a very tame sparrow, well adapted to human presence.  They now reside and nest in a very wide variety of habitats, including in urban settings.  The name comes from the sparrow's song.   These little birds are unfortunately common hosts to Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism, and it is not uncommon to see unwitting Chipping Sparrow parents raising Cowbird chicks that weigh three times as much as the parents.

Habitat: Open woods, residential areas, farms.

Diet: Summer diet is mostly insects and spiders.  Fall and winter diets include large amounts of seeds and waste grain. 

Behavior: Does most of its foraging on the ground, but will also forage in shrubbery and underbrush, as well as in lower levels of trees.

Nesting: Mid-May through Mid-August.

Song: Chipping Sparrow Song

Migration: Neotropical migrant, wintering in the southern U.S. through Mexico and Central America.

Interactive eBird Map: Click for access to an interactive eBird map of Chipping Sparrow sightings

Similar Species: Clay-Colored Sparrow, American Tree Sparrow

Bird Feeders: Will attend feeders for various seeds and breadcrumbs.

Conservation Status:  Common throughout most of its range, with no signs of recent declines.

Further Information: 1) USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter, Chipping Sparrow

2) Cornell University's "All About Birds - Chipping Sparrow"

3) eNature.com: Chipping Sparrow

Photo Information: May 26th, 2011 - Beaver Creek Nature Area near Brandon, South Dakota - Terry Sohl

Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or text links below for additional, higher-resolution Chipping Sparrow photos.

 

Click on the map below for a higher-resolution view
Chipping Sparrow - Spizella passerina - Range Map
South Dakota Status: Common and widespread summer breeder throughout South Dakota.

Additional Chipping Sparrow Photos
Click for a higher-resolution version of these photos
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