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Merlin Bird ID

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    Savannah Sparrow

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    Savannah Sparrow

    Passerculus sandwichensis
    • ORDER: Passeriformes
    • FAMILY: Passerellidae
    Basic Description

    Not all streaky brown birds are impossible to identify: Take a closer look at this one and you’ll see an understated but distinctive sparrow with a short tail, small head, and telltale yellow spot before the eye. Savannah Sparrows are one of the most numerous songbirds in North America, and while sometimes overlooked, are likely visitors across the continent. In summer, they don’t hesitate to advertise their location, belting out a loud, insect-like song from farm fields and grasslands.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Savannah SparrowRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    Savannah Sparrows are inconspicuous birds with high, thin voices—but they’re common and widespread. Look for them in grassy areas within their range, the thicker the better. Males are conspicuous during breeding season, singing from perches like a fencepost or a lone shrub or tree on a grassland.

    Other Names
    • Gorrión Sabanero (Spanish)
    • Bruant des prés (French)

    Backyard Tips

    Savannah Sparrows are not feeder birds, though they may come to backyards that adjoin fields. But if you keep a brush pile on your property, you might see them swoop in and take cover during migration or over the winter.

    • Cool Facts