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Song Sparrow

Melospiza melodia

Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia, photo © by Michael Plagens taken at Gilbert Riparian Preserve taken on 14 Feb 2009

This Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia was found in thick, woody vegetation along the Gila River south of Buckeye, Arizona. November 2009.

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Distinguishing Characteristics: Relatively large sparrow with a long tail and heavy streaking on the chest and flanks. In most individuals the breast streaking converges into a spot in the middle of the chest. Rarely strays far from dense riparian trees and shrubs where it frequently forages on the ground.

Song Sparrows do not venture into barren desert habitats. Instead they stay within the riparian corridors where there is dense cover and plenty of water. Song Sparrows in the Sonoran Desert show little migratory movement with the changing seasons. Otherwise these song sparrows are found throughout North America with some variation in plumage from region to region - many subspecies/varieties have been recognized.

Year-round Resident - Spring and Summer Breeder

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009