Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

The Song Sparrow is a bird of order Passeriformes, genus Melospiza and species melodia. It is in the Emberizid Finches, American Sparrows, Towhees, Buntings and New World Sparrows (Emberizidae) family. An older taxonomic designation was the Grosbeaks, Buntings, Finches, Sparrows (Fringillidae) family. The genus name is from the Latin for "song" (melo) and the Greek for "chaffinch" (spiza). The species name is from the Latin for "song."2  This species is found throughout the contiguous forty-eight states of the United States and most of Canada.. It winters from southern Canada to Mexico and the Gulf Coast.

Song Sparrows are about five inches (13 centimeters) to seven inches (18 centimeters) long. They have brown crowns, a brown streak through and behind the eyes, brown backs with dark streaks, white under-parts with dark streaks and a dark central spot, and brown to rusty wings. Their brown tails are long and rounded. The beaks are conical.1,4,5

Their nests, cups of leaves, grass and hair, are found on or near the ground hidden in weeds or low bushes.1 The female lays three to five brown eggs with green spots or green eggs with brown spots two to three times during the year.1,3 The Brown-headed Cowbird will often deposit her eggs in a Song Sparrow's nest.3

The Song Sparrow's diet consists of insects and seeds.4

Song Sparrow Description



1. Bull, John and John Farrand, Jr., The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, Eastern Region, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1986.

2. Gove, Philip Babcock, Ph.D.,Webster's Third International Dictionary, G. &C. Merriam Company, Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 1971.

3. Song Sparrow,, retrieved from, June 5, 2017

4. Song Sparrow,,  retrieved from "https://en", June 5, 2017.

5. United States Geological Survey, Song Sparrow, retrieved from, June 5, 2017


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