This sparrow’s distinctive features include a complete white eye-ring; rufous stripe through the eye; pinkish bill; gray face and neck with rufous colored cap and buffy plain front.
The Field Sparrow consumes a mixture of insects and seeds, with insects more predominant in summertime. Its small bill is adapted to grass seed of plants such as panic grass. It prefers an old-field habitat, but shuns areas where humans live; as a consequence, its numbers are in decline. A ground nester, the Field Sparrow often produces multiple broods and practices a clever strategy of moving nest sites upward as vegetation grows throughout the summer, thus getting further from predators.
What brings it to the SBG?
Food, cover, perhaps nesting sites. The SBG’s abundant insects and seeds provide food. As an old farm field, SBG would be an excellent nesting area but for the continual presence of human activity in and near Tudek Park.
When can I see it?
The bird’s year-round range includes Pennsylvania but so far it has only been spotted at SBG during the fall. Some evidence suggests that it may be a “partial” migrant, so that some individuals move southward while others stay put within the year-round range.