Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Sparrows of North Dakota
3. Song Sparrow
Similar in appearance to Lincoln's sparrow. Breast is off white. Upper and side
portions are heavily streaked with chocolate color. Central breast spot is dark.
Has a gray eyebrow running from beak across top of eye to back of head. Also
has a dark stripe extending downward along the whitish throat from the beak
to the top of the breast. Prefers shrubby habitat and brushy cover along streams,
ponds and other wetlands. Also likes rural roadways with shrubby cover and rural
back yards. Song is beautiful and one of the most attractive of the sparrows.
Eats insects in the summer by foraging through bushes, grasses and trees for
grasshoppers, beetles, flies, wasps and other insects. Will also eat grass and
weed seeds as well as some waste grain and wild fruit. Migrates early. Nests
are either on the ground hidden by clumps of weeds and grasses or in shrubby
cover a few feet off the ground.
- Melospiza melodia
- Length-5 3/4 - 7 1/2 inches
- BREEDING SPECIES
- Central Breast Spot
Previous Sparrow -- Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza
Return to Sparrow List
Next Sparrow -- Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii)