Field Sparrow

photo by Phil Swanson

Spizella pusilla
L 5 3/4″ (15 cm).

Song or calls:
Listen (NGPC audio)

Song is series of whistles accelerating into a trill; sounds like a pingpong ball being dropped.

Description: Sexes similar. Gray head with reddish crown, eastern birds may have reddish eye line and buffy cheek patch. Brown upperparts; back streaked except on gray-brown rump; buffy-red breast and sides; grayish-white belly. Whitish eye ring; two white wing bars; bright pink bill; pinkish legs. Notched brown tail is edged with gray. Juvenile has streaked underparts; buffy wing bars; and lacks reddish crown.

field sparrow
Habitat: Open brushy woodland, forest edges, brushy ravines and draws, abandoned hayfields, and similar open habitat with scattered shrubs or low trees.

Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant and locally common summer resident across the state, except in Panhandle. Nesting occurs as far west as eastern end of Lake McConaughy, Keith County.

Field Notes: Depends more upon shrubs than trees for nesting.

Fun Facts: A group of Field Sparrows is called a “crue” of sparrows.

Field Sparrow - photo by Phil Swanson Field Sparrow - photo by Rachel Hall
(click image for larger view)