A small, streaky bird of open fields, the Savannah Sparrow often causes confusion for birders because it is so variable. Bird Identification Q&A. Photo: Robin Horn/Flickr CC (BY-NC-ND 2.0) Once you’ve got the song down, you’ll be able to use it as a reference point to separate Songs from other sparrows no matter where you go. Found in more open habitats than Song Sparrow; also smaller and shorter-tailed. Look for thick brown streaks on whitish breast. It is usually found on the ground under dense thickets, scratching busily in the leaf-litter with both feet. Enthusiasts report that one of the songs heard often in suburban locations closely resembles the opening four notes of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. Lincoln’s Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) photos by Larry JordanI caught this Lincoln’s Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) as it was taking off from its perch back in the spring of 2009. On its breeding grounds, it gives a beautifully clear whistled song. I am sure that once you inform Mr. David Sibley of this, he will be more than happy to repaint his middle illustration of Vesper Sparrow on page 491 of his reasonably well known field guide -- without argument. Significant variation in plumage geographically. Along with the song, the markings on the Song Sparrow are also useful as a reference for other species of sparrow. Plumage varies, but usually shows distinctive yellow patch in front of eye. Larger, longer-tailed and more rusty than Savannah Sparrow… This big chunky sparrow nests in the far north and in western mountains, and many birders know it only as a migrant or winter visitor. Breeds in open areas including meadows and hayfields. Found in a variety of scrubby habitats both near and far from human development. One of the most common and widespread sparrows. The song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) is a widespread, relatively common sparrow.Initially difficult to identify because of its relatively bland, streaked plumage, birders can quickly learn to look for its long tail and the central splotch or spot of color on the bird’s chest, though some birds do not have it as clearly defined as others. The sparrow species derives its name from its colorful repertoire of songs. Also note streaky breast and short tail, because not all individuals have yellow. Savannah or Vesper Sparrow? Some of its well-marked local forms, such as the pale "Ipswich" Sparrow of Atlantic beaches and the blackish "Belding's" Sparrow of western salt marshes, were once regarded as separate species. With dozens of species of sparrows, many with overlapping ranges and similar plumages, these small birds can be difficult to identify.At first glance, many sparrows look and act alike, and it takes practice and patience to learn their subtle differences. 5.The male uses a fairly complex song to declare ownership of its territory and attract females. Song Sparrow. Very rare at feeders.

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