Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow
(Melospiza melodia)

Order:  Passeriformes
Family:  Passerellidae

Photo © Robert Royse

Song Sparrow Information

Length:  5 - 7"

Habitat:  Brushy edges of streams and ponds, forest edges, shrubby marsh edges, hedgerows, thickets, brushy fields, roadsides, residential areas. Favors moist, brushy habitat.

Diet:  Insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, and caterpillars; spiders, weed seeds and grass seeds, wild fruits and berries. Birds in coastal areas may eat crustaceans and small mollusks.

  Songs and calls of the Song Sparrow

Preferred Bird Feeder Food

The Song Sparrow prefers white millet and sunflower seeds (whole and hulled). They will also eat cracked corn, peanut hearts, and nyjer seed.

This bird generally feeds on the ground, but will also come to platform feeders.

Additional Information

Song Sparrow
Description, habitat, diet, behavior, nesting, and conservation status of this bird. Includes photos and range map. (From BirdWeb)

Song Sparrow
Identification Tips

  • Conical bill
  • Brown crown
  • Grayish face and supercilium
  • Brown streak extends behind eye
  • Thick malar streak
  • Brown back with darker streaks
  • Brown wings with some rust
  • Underparts white with heavy dark streaks and central breast spot
  • Long, brown, rounded tail
  • Sexes similar
  • Juvenile (Summer) similar to adult but buffier
  • Considerable variation in plumage across its range from dark to rusty upperparts and in bill size and shape

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Song Sparrow
Breeding Bird Survey Map,

Song Sparrow Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)

Range in New England
Many Song Sparrows that breed in Maine and other northern areas of New England tend to move further south in the winter. This bird is found year round in the rest of New England.

Song Sparrow
Range Maps from Cornell

Song Sparrow breeding, nonbreeding and year-round range

Includes separate map of sightings.

Song Sparrow
Christmas Bird Count Map

Historical CBC Map from USGS