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Nature in it's glory

Nature in it's glory

Jul 14, 2011

Tiny Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow
The Chipping Sparrow no doubt got it's name from it's most frequent vocalization.  A repetitive, soft chip, chip, chip.   Although they do also produce a beautiful song with a distinct trill, that can be heard everywhere quite clearly in early spring.

I see this little sparrow everywhere lately.  In fact I have a Pair nesting in the tree outside my front door.  There is the female in the photo below, perched on my roof with nesting material.  Since I've recently set up another bird feeder in this tree, it is quite possible that is why the pair has decided to nest there.
Female Chipping Sparrow
They seem to have no preference as to how and where they forage for food.  You will see them at the bird feeder as often as you will see them on the ground feeding on the seed that has fallen out.  They can be seen flitting amongst the low branches of a tree, or in a bush in pursuit of insects.  You will also notice them running along the fence in your yard.

Chipping sparrow male
Pair of Chipping Sparrows
 In the photo, directly below you can clearly see just how tiny this bird is, when you compare it to the flowers planted just below it's nesting tree.  You might also notice that it  has a relatively small bill for a sparrow.  In summer, the Chipping Sparrow is easily recognized by a rusty cap, a wide, white stripe above the eye, a black line through the eye, a gray cheek patch, and a plain, whitish gray belly and chest.

Foraging on the ground
The Chipping Sparrow male will defend it's mate and nest energetically from others of it's kind, but will tolerate the presence of other species of birds.  As long as they pose no threat to their nest and young that is.  It is the female that builds the nest with no help from the male.  She is rather picky about her choice of nest location, but not apparently it's construction, as the nest of a Chipping Sparrow is quite flimsy, even see through.

Once their brood has fledged, this sparrow moves away to molt and assume it's winter color.  It will develop a dull buff brown appearance, with a black eye stripe, streaked breast and redish, brown cap.  At this time, you will see this sparrow in constant company of a dozen or so of his own species.

For more information on this tiny bird just follow this link:


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