|Male Chipping Sparrow|
I have been watching the little male at my window feeder over the past few weeks picking up quick bites and then zipping away. And then yesterday he brought his fledgling to my window.
|"Peek-a-boo" juvenile Chipper|
Chipping sparrows are small, neat, active sparrows with a distinctive bright copper colored cap and black eyestripes and white eyebrows. They also have an all light gray belly and the typical brown tweed sparrow back. The juvenile is sort of a light tan with black and brown tweed stripes all over.
Chipping sparrows are found throughout most of North America. In Michigan they arrive early April from the more southern states. They have one to two broods and migrate south again in September and October with other sparrow species.
Chipping sparrows get their common name from the sharp "chip" call that they make frequently as they forage and interact with others. Their song is a single noted trill made up of rapid repetitions of a "tssip" that sounds like a sewing machine or a car with break trouble.
Chipping sparrows eat mainly grass seeds and other annual plants seeds. During the breeding season the diet also includes up to 40% of bugs. At the feeders they enjoy sunflower, safflower, millet, and peanuts.