Backyard Birds

Field Sparrows

The Field Sparrow, Spizella pusilla, is a small sparrow.

Distribution / Range

These birds are permanent residents in the southern parts of their range. Northern birds migrate to the southern United States and Mexico.

This bird’s numbers expanded as settlers cleared forests in eastern North America, but may have declined in more recent times.


Adults have brown upperparts, a light brown breast, a white belly, wing bars and a forked tail. They have a grey face, a rusty crown, a white eye ring and a pink bill.

Nesting / Breeding

Their breeding habitat is shrubby fields across eastern North America. The nest is an open cup on the ground under a clump of grass or in a small thicket.

Diet / Feeding

These birds forage on the ground or in low vegetation, mainly eating insects and seeds. They may feed in small flocks outside of the nesting season.

Song / Vocalizations

The male sings from a higher perch, such as a shrub or fencepost, to indicate his ownership of the nesting territory. The song is a series of sad whistles ending in a trill.


  • BirdLife International (2004). Spizella pusilla. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 05 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button