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Chipping Sparrow - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Danielbirdwatcher
Summerville, South Carolina, USA, 29 December 2020
Spizella passerina


Breeding plumage
Photo © by Glen Tepke
Mount Auburn Cemetery, Watertown, Massachusetts, USA, May 2004

12–14 cm (5.5 ins)
In breeding plumage quite unique with a solid chestnut cap and black stripe through the eye, with the rest of the sides of the head and undersides an unmarked gray.

In juvenile plumage it has finely streaked underparts, and usually lacks the chestnut crown of an adult.


Chipping sparrow is distributed from Alaska to eastern Canada through the USA and Mexico to Nicaragua.

Photo © by Robert S
Torrington, Connecticut, USA, 29th May 2006



Five subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • S. p. arizonae:
  • South-eastern Alaska and western Yukon to northern Baja, north-western Mexico; winters to Oaxaca
  • S. p. passerina:
  • S. p. atremaeus:
  • Mexico (Sierra Madre Occidental to pine belt of Nuevo León)
  • S. p. mexicana:
  • S. p. pinetorum:
Photo © by mali
Reading, Pennsylvania, USA, Summer 2014

Some authorities additionally recognize boreophilae.


Woodlands, farmlands, urban districts and suburbs.



The diet includes seeds, insects and small fruits.


It weaves a cup nest from grass and roots. The clutch consists of 2-7 pale blue eggs with dark blotches which are incubated for 10-15 days.


Listen in an external program

Recording by eiguoc, Scarborough, Ontario

Winter Plumage
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Lick Creek Park, southeast College Station, Brazos County, Texas, USA, January-2019


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. All About Birds

Recommended Citation

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