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Field Sparrow

Spizella pusilla ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: EMBERIZIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The clear, “bouncing-ball” trill of the Field Sparrow is a familiar summer sound in brushy fields and roadsides of the East and Midwest. The singer is a small, warm-toned sparrow with a rusty cap, neat white eyering, and pink bill. Though still common, Field Sparrows have declined sharply in the last half-century, partly because of the expansion of suburbs, where Field Sparrows will not nest. Populations in the prairies have remained strong thanks in part to measures like the Conservation Reserve Program.

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Backyard Tips

This species often comes to bird feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

Find This Bird

Field Sparrows are easiest to find in the early morning during spring and summer, when males give their long, “bouncing ball” songs from exposed perches. You can find these fairly common birds by searching areas of shrubby grasslands or overgrown, weedy fields. Males tend to sing from obvious perches such as fence lines and the tops of small trees. At other times of year, pay attention to flocks of sparrows in such habitats, looking for smaller, warm-colored birds foraging near the ground—bearing in mind that such flocks may contain multiple species of sparrows.

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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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