by Jacob Crider
Wintertime in Kentucky is a great time to look for the many species of sparrow that inhabit our meadows, shrublands, farms, and wetlands. The abundance of seeds and dry brushy habitat offers a suitable refuge for these granivorous birds. Song Sparrows (Melospiza melodia) is one of our most common and widespread native sparrows in Kentucky and exist here year-round.
Exhibiting various shades of brown and gray, they can be hard to spot in grassy areas, thickets, savannas woodlands, backyards, and farmland. Medium brown to chestnut patches around the eyes and Light brown stripes along its chest can help distinguish it amongst other sparrows, along with its melodious song that can be heard year-round. During summer, these small sparrows nest in grassy areas either on the ground underneath thick vegetation or in low-lying shrubs or trees. They will also feed on a wide variety of insects in their respected habitats during this time. In winter they can be found in nearly any habitat and are frequent visitors to feeders with adequate cover and will often accompany other species of songbirds.
The familiar and beautiful song of this sparrow is heard throughout CMNP, but the best views of Song Sparrows are usually seen at our Bird Blind and open savannas and meadows.