Chipping Sparrow ID

by Deb
(Shawano, WI)

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow Adult Chipping Sparrow (Summer Plumage) <br /> Photo Courtesy: Firstmac on Flickr

Q: This bird has been in my feeders for a few weeks now and I cannot identify it. Is this some type of wren? If so, what kind? Thanks.

A: This is an adult chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina) in summer breeding plumage. In winter plumage, the rusty cap turns dull brown and the white eye stripe is duller. Juvenile chipping sparrows lack the rusty cap and have vertical black streaks on the upper breast and down the flanks. They are found in open decidous woods, farms, suburban neighborhoods, conifer forests and orchards.

Male Chipping Sparrow Song

The song of a chipping sparrow is a dry trill that remains on one pitch. Here is a video of one singing:

You will often find chipping sparrows on the ground searching for insects and seeds, but they will also glean insects from shrub and tree foliage as well as hawk insects from the air. The chipping sparrow, unfortunately, is a frequent cowbird host. Once interesting note is that the males sometimes sing after sunset and throughout the night.
More life history information, photos and song recordings here at Cornell's All About Birds: Chipping Sparrow

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