Song Sparrow: Dr J Murray Speirs

The Song Sparrow is probably the most widespread and best known of Ontario sparrows, nesting in suburban gardens, old fields, roadsides and forest edge throughout Ontario. Most go south to the United States in winter but a few linger at feeders and in weed patches in Southern Ontario.

Song sparrow

IDENTIFICATION: The triangle of dark blotches, one on each side of the throat and one in the centre of the breast is the best field mark. In flight they pump the tail up and down more than most of our other sparrows. The song is diagnostic, once learned, but is difficult to paraphrase: it usually starts with three sweet emphatic notes, followed by a jumble of up and downs phrases. The common call note is a diagnostic “chunk”.

Song Sparrow

DIET: insects and seeds

BREEDING: lay 3 – 5 eggs with an incubation of 13 – 15 days. Some song sparrows had had as many as 4 successful broods in a season.

Photo: Judy-Ann Cazemier

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