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Melospiza melodia

Common Name: Song Sparrow
Melospiza melodia
Melospiza melodia

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Emberizidae
Genus: Melospiza
Species: Melospiza melodia

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

Song sparrows are 6" long with a 8" wingspan. They are a rusty brown in color, striped, and have a white breast. The breast has brown streaks and a brown center spot.

Habitat & Range

Song sparrows live in open areas and shrubland, especially near water.

Their breeding range spreads across much of Canada and into northern areas of Michigan west to Montana.

The nonbreeding range consists of the central and southeastern United States and into northern parts of Mexico.

Year-round they live in northwestern and northeastern parts of the United States, including New York State.


Song sparrows eat a variety of seeds, grass, berries, and insects.

Their song is a variety of complex trills and whistes. Listen for the pattern of “swee swee swee too-ee tri-tri-tri-tri.”

Life Cycle

Song sparrows nest on the ground or in shrubs.

Featured image by James Dake.


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