La. passer sparrow, small
La. forma form, kind, species
Swiss-German emmeritz bunting or
Gr. melos a song;
Gr. spiza a finch
La. melodia melody
|Six inches long. Brown
and white streaks back across the crown, brown and black speckles in
streaks over its breast and sides of its white underside. Brown and
black wing feathers with white borders. Gray tail.
Inhabits woodlands, groves, wetland edges, open country,
farms and vacant lots in towns from southern Alaska across Canada below
60 latitude to Newfoundland and throughout the U.S. to central Mexico.
Most migrate short distances, some remain resident year around.
Builds a well concealed nest of grass, rootlets,
bark shreds and leaves lined with fine grass and hair in trees, bushes,
trunk cavities, wood heaps and in vines against sides of houses, usually
near or on the ground, sometimes up to six or eight feet, sometimes in
Lays four to six, more or less, white speckled eggs which
hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about
another week and a half. Raises two or even three broods in a season.
Eats grains, insects and
Pumps its tail in flight and characteristically disappears into
bushes. Always flies downward when alarmed. Likes birdbaths; get one.
Spirited singer who sings many melodies at all times of day and night in
fair or foul weather. F. Schulyler Mathews describes the Song Sparrow
as, "The flower of his family, a musician of exceptional ability."
The Phoebe platform
which may be suitable (or may not, depending on the circumstances) for
Song Sparrows has a 6" by 6" base, approximately a 6" ceiling, an open
front and partially open sides.
Gilbert H. Trafton, the author of "Bird Friends", 1916, recommended
platforms open on all four sides for Thrashers, Catbirds and Song Birds.
See Platform Discussion
Chances are slim of attracting song sparrows to any particular shelf,
but a pair might like the open cavity in the right spot. Mount low maybe
behind a bush so the parents can approach the nest unnoticed, higher if
predator cats may be about, amidst a vine covered wall would be ideal.