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.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Sparrow with two brown crown stripes passes through

October normally signals an annual invasion of native sparrows in mid-Michigan as these birds migrate to their wintering grounds further south. Swamp Sparrows breed in Michigan and Canada and winter in the states below Michigan and into Mexico during the non-breeding season. They are actually named aptly, as they like to live near swamps. Their diet changes from 88 percent insects from the spring and summer to 88 percent seeds and fruit by fall and winter.

They are a medium-sized, warm colored sparrow that has a slightly duller non-breeding plumage than in summer. Winter adults usually have two brown crown stripes and much of the gray is replaced with buff coloring. The easiest way to identify this species is by the Swamp Sparrow's habit of continuously flicking its tail side to side

Other common migrating sparrows to watch for as they pass through Michigan include the white-throated sparrows, white-crowned sparrows, dark-eyed juncos, chipping sparrow, field sparrow, Savannah sparrow, fox sparrow, clay-coloredsparrow, Vesper sparrow, lark sparrow, grasshopper sparrow and Lincoln'ssparrow. Look for migrations days that follow northwest cold fronts, but never bother on days with winds anywhere out of the east.

Related Articles:
White-throated Sparrow fun facts
Sparrows Native to mid-Michigan http://bit.ly/oy9XGz
Which one of these birds is not like the others? http://bit.ly/qM1LQt
What birds winter in Michigan? http://bit.ly/rqQgU2

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