Family: (Emberizidae) New World Sparrows
Preferred Habitat: Abandoned fields.
Seasonal Occurrence: Uncommon November through March.
Notes: The Field Sparrow is distinguished by its coral-pink bill, white eye-ring, and rusty cap. Chipping Sparrows look similar in winter but have a much more noticeable black eyeline. Both species have non-streaked breasts. The song of the Field Sparrow is a plaintive series of whistled notes which speed up into a trill. Greatest numbers of Field Sparrows occur in January and February in our area. Their preferred habitat is brushy old fields. The Field Sparrow is listed by the National Audubon Society as #9 on the Common Birds in Decline list. Since 1967 its numbers have declined 68%. Loss of suitable habitat appears to be the primary cause. With proper management farms provide excellent habitat for Field Sparrows, and hopefully their numbers will be able to increase once again.
- Susan Billetdeaux
Profile on National Audubon site.