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Chipping Sparrow Spizella passerina


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Chipping Sparrow
credit: Mdf/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Emberizidae, New World Sparrows view all from this family

Description ADULT BREEDING Has dark-streaked buffy brown back and buffy brown wings with two whitish wing bars. Paler, grayer rump is sometimes observed in flight. Plumage is otherwise mostly gray, but note the chestnut crown, white supercilium, and dark eyestripe. Also has whitish throat. ADULT NONBREEDING Similar, but has brown crown with pale central stripe and buff supercilium. JUVENILE Recalls nonbreeding adult, but is heavily streaked. First winter recalls nonbreeding adult, but brown elements of plumage are buffy. It is the only sparrow to migrate in its juvenile plumage.

Dimensions Length: 5-5 1/2" (13-14 cm)

Habitat Common summer visitor (mainly May-Sep) to a range of open wooded habitats, including parks and mature gardens.

Observation Tips Easy to see.

Range Southwest, Alaska, California, New England, Great Lakes, Rocky Mountains, Plains, Florida, Mid-Atlantic, Eastern Canada, Western Canada, Northwest, Texas, Southeast

Voice Song is a rapid, rattling trill with a rather inanimate quality; call is a thin tzip.

Discussion Familiar, well-marked sparrow. Forms flocks outside breeding season and often rather tame in suburban parks and gardens. Sexes are similar, but plumage varies seasonally.