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Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow
The song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) is a medium-sized American sparrow. Among the native sparrows in North America, it is easily one of the most abundant, variable and adaptable species. Although they are a habitat generalist, their favorite habitat is brushy areas and marshes, including salt marshes, across most of Canada and the United States. They also thrive in human areas, such as in suburbs, along edges in agricultural areas, and along roadsides. In southern locations, they are permanent residents. Northern birds migrate to the southern United States or Mexico, where there is also a local population resident all year round. The song sparrow is a very rare vagrant to western Europe, with a few recorded in Great Britain and Norway. These birds forage on the ground, in shrubs or in very shallow water. They mainly eat insects and seeds. Birds in salt marshes may also eat small crustaceans. They nest either in a sheltered location on the ground or in trees or shrubs. The sparrow species derives it name from its colorful repertoire of songs. 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. 5. The male uses a fairly complex song to declare ownership of its territory and attract females. Singing itself consists of a combination of repeated notes, quickly passing isolated notes, and trills. The songs are very crisp, clear, and precise, making them easily distinguishable by human ears. A particular song is determined not only by pitch and rhythm but also by the timber of the trills. Although one bird will know many songs—as many as 20 different tunes with as many as 1,000 improvised variations on the basic theme,—unlike thrushes, the song sparrow usually repeats the same song many times before switching to a different song. Song sparrows typically learn their songs from a handful of other birds that have neighboring territories. They are most likely to learn songs that are shared in common between these neighbors. Ultimately, they will choose a territory close to or replacing the birds that they have learned from. This allows the song sparrows to address their neighbors with songs shared in common with those neighbors. It has been demonstrated that song sparrows are able to distinguish neighbors from strangers on the basis of song, and also that females are able to distinguish (and prefer) their mate's songs from those of other neighboring birds, and they prefer songs of neighboring birds to those of strangers. Cropped only; otherwise untouched.

fifi, Eunice Perkins, Marco and 2 other people have particularly liked this photo


Comments
Pam J
Pam J
Sweet !

Admired in ~ Wildlife In The Garden
2 years ago.
ctofcsco
ctofcsco
A wonderful image!
Your image was seen in
Natures Kingdom Group
and deserves this award

NK AWARD
Thank You
2 years ago.
Eunice Perkins
Eunice Perkins
A fine shot!
2 years ago.
Jeff Farley
Jeff Farley
Excellent image Kris, thank you very much for posting to Fur, Fin and Feather.
13 months ago.