While I enjoy all the flashes of bright color after a long cold winter in Michigan, I still enjoy seeing the less colorful birds as well. Recently I've been watching a solitary Song Sparrow eating sunflower chips under my feeder. The easiest way for me to recognise him is by what I call mutton chops under the beak.
Song Sparrow Melospiza melodia
Order: PASSERIFORMES Family: Sparrows (Emberizidae)
Description: Medium-sized sparrow with heavily streaked gray-brown upperparts. Dull white underparts have dark central breast spot and thick streaks. Head has a brown crown with paler median stripe, pale gray eyebrow, white chin, and dark brown moustache stripe.
General: The Song Sparrow lives up to its name, being one of the most persistent singers throughout the spring and summer. The scientific name Melodia means "melody" in Greek. Click here to hear the song.
Behavior: It prefers brushy areas, especially in fields, along streams and the borders of woodlands and mainly eat insects and seeds on the ground. The Song Sparrow is a cautious bird in much of its behaviors, spending a lot of its time in the shadows or in areas matching its coloration.