Song Sparrow
Melospiza melodia
Family Ploceidae

* Feathers chestnut brown, streaked with darker brown.
* Breast creamy, with heavy, dark streaks that converge centrally in a dark spot on the throat.
* Sparrows pump their tails in flight and are often seen singing from the tops of bushes (see photo).
* Body and tail length: 5-6 1/2".

Natural History:
* Habitat: Meadows, thickets, gardens, and roadsides, often near water. Nests built on the ground or less than 4 meters above ground,made of grass and weeds, with a fine lining.
* Range: Throughout most of North America.
* Voice: Variable, ranging from musical to buzzy, beginning with a repeated sweet sweet sweet.
* Behavior: Feeds on seeds and berries. Eggs can be greenish, grayish, pinkish, or bluish.
* Native.

* Some people think the song sparrow is singing "Hip, hip, hooray, boys! Spring is here!" Hmmm..... maybe that's what it's saying in the spring, but what about sparrows in autumn?

* "I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circimstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn."
-Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862

* "Death devours all lovely things:
Lesbia with her sparrow
Shares the darkness,--presently
Every bed is narrow."
-Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1892-1950

* "I am become like a pelican in the wilderness: and like an owl that is in the desert.
I have watched, and am even as it were a sparrow: that sitteth alone upon the house-top."
-Prayer Book of the Church of England, 1662


Created by: Niki Zhou and Carla Holleran
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: June 25, 2004
Last Modified: August 7, 2004
Expries: June 1, 2005