In Scope: Song Sparrow

song sparrow

 

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly and swarm with living creatures, and let birds fly over the earth in the open expanse of the heavens. ~ Genesis 1:20

   

   

    Its a lovely late winter morning....the sun is out, casting its golden rays on everything within its reach.  A beautiful melody floats through the crisp morning air.  As I shield my eyes from the sun, searching for the singer, a small bird on a nearby tree branch throws its head back and bursts into song.  Flitting to the top of our fence, the little bird continues its thrilling melody....

 

    Looking intently, I discern that the soloist in this beautiful morning concerto is none other than the unassumming Song Sparrow, a species that is a common feeder visitor all across the United States.  Since February is National Bird Feeding Month, I thought it would be very appropriate to feature the Song Sparrow in this month's In Scope.

 

Fun Facts

 

    Did you know....

 

 

Gardening For and Feeding Song Sparrows

 

song sparrow 

 

    Song Sparrows are frequent visitors to gardens, backyards and feeders.  Though they're probably already in your backyard, here are some tips to help make your yard more appealing to Song Sparrows.

 

Gardening

 

   Among other things, the Song Sparrow loves small fruits, especially berries.  Almost any berry plant will do, including...

 

Strawberries

Blackberries

Raspberries

Blueberries

 

Feeding

 

  Song Sparrows are easy to please when it comes to feeder treats.  Their favorite seeds are...

 

Millet (white or red)

Milo

Sunflower Seeds (any kind)

 

    The addition of a bird bath would make your yard even more pleasing for Song Sparrows.  This species loves to bathe daily and fresh, clean water is a draw for any bird.

 

Zoom In: Species Profile

 

song sparrow

 

 

    The Song Sparrow's scientific name is Melospiza melodia.  This medium sized bird is 5 - 6 1/2 inches long.  Both male and female look alike, having rusty brown wings, back, head, neck and tail and distinctly streaked underside on pale, creamy colored or very light gray breast.  They also have a 'stickpin' marking on their chest ~ a prominant brown spot directly in the center of their chest.  These species contains various subspecies also called races, so depending on where you live, the size and appearance of your song sparrows may differ slightly from the ones in our area.

    The song of the Song Sparrow is a delightful musical song comprised of some brief notes and afterward, a beautiful trill.  Many people think it sounds like "Madge, madge, madge, put on your tea kettle, ettle, ettle!"

    The preferred habitat of the Song Sparrow is at the edges of woodlands, in openings in the woods, thick brush, or even marshy, wet areas with lots of grass.  They nest in thick brush and require some taller viewing areas for singing to claim territory or to attract a mate.  The nest of the Song Sparrow is cup shaped and made out of grass.  The nest is constructed in a shrub or on ground level.  The female lays 3-6 very pale green or whitish eggs with dark spots.  They may have up to three broods in one breeding season.

    Song Sparrows are year round residents in much of the Western and Eastern United States and up into Western Canada.  Accross the middle and Southern United States they are mostly winter residents.  Across most of Canada, they are residents in the Spring and summer.

 

Activities

 

    This month I've created a Song Sparrow coloring page for you in a free PDF.  Simply click here to download, then print and enjoy !

 

Devotional

 

song sparrow drawing

 

    "Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout aloud to the Rock of our Salvation!"

                                                                    - Psalm 95:1 NIV

 

    "Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His Love endures forever."

                                                                     - Psalm 106:1 NIV

    I love Song Sparrows - they're one of my favorite garden birds.  I think the reason I love them so much is because when I hear them sing, it lifts my thoughts and my heart up to the One Who created these beautiful little birds.  Our God is Great and Worthy to be praised.... and the little Song Sparrow sings out His Creator's Praise every day.  This seemingly ordinary, everyday little bird is an example to us to praise the Lord not just in church, or at extraordinary moments in life, but every single day.  Praise the Lord!

    

    By, Jessi Wasell