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Swamp Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow
Melospiza georgiana
Perching Birds | Family: New World Sparrows, Emberizidae

An estimated 79% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.



A bird of the wetlands during the breeding season, the Swamp Sparrow appears in a variety of other habitats during migration and in winter. It is rather shy, but responds readily to any squeaking noise, and can usually be lured into view by a patient observer. It is never seen in large flocks like the White-throated and White-crowned sparrows, but is usually found singly, foraging on the ground in rather dense cover.


5" (13 cm). A chunky dark sparrow with unstreaked underparts, bright rufous cap, and rusty wings; dark brown back and tail; gray face and breast; white throat. White-throated Sparrow has striped crown and whiter throat, and lacks rusty coloration on wings.


Sweet, musical trill, all on one note.


4 or 5 blue-green eggs, with brown blotches, in a grassy cup on the ground, well hidden in dense tussocks or marsh vegetation.


Freshwater marshes and open wooded swamps; during migration with other sparrows, weedy fields, parks, and brush piles.


Breeds from Mackenzie east to Newfoundland, and south to northern Missouri, Ohio, Maryland, and Delaware. Winters north to Nebraska, southern Great Lakes region, and southern New England.