About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Long trilling bird song

Before the snows on Saturday, I was filling the feeders and heard the delightful sound of the Chipping Sparrow declaring his territory loud and clear. Chipping sparrows get their name from the sharp "chip" call that they make throughout the day as they forage. But they also have a song that I wait to hear every spring. It is a single noted trill made by males during breeding season. Males attract females with their songs and chase them or perform displays on the ground.

Chipping sparrows are smaller than House Sparrows. These cute, active sparrows have a distinctive bright chestnut crown, bordered by white above their eyes and black eye stripes across the eyes. Their back and wings are streaked black and brown. Males and females look similar.

They are found throughout most of North America. Populations that migrate to breed in Michigan spend winter in the southern United States, throughout Mexico, and as far south as Honduras and Nicaragua.

If you are a gardener, you will often see them scratching in the leaf litter next to you looking for bugs and seeds. Chipping sparrows eat millet and sunflower seeds at the feeders and also forage for other plant seeds as well as insects.

Chipping sparrows raise 1 set of young from mid to late April through July. Males and females choose a nest site, usually in a conifer tree or shrub from 3 to 10 feet above ground. Females build nests out of grasses, roots, and other fine materials.
Related Articles:
Sparrows Native to mid-Michigan http://goo.gl/aqUL1 

How to identify birds' songs http://goo.gl/fL15O
Attracting Michigan Songbirds http://goo.gl/0qggF
How do Birds Migrate? http://bit.ly/nNCI6d

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