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Black-Chinned Sparrow

Spizella atrogularis

The Black-Chinned Sparrow breeds in mixed chaparral or sagebrush in the American southwest. Populations have decreased by over 60% since 1970. Overgrazing seems to be a major factor in their decline. Winters are spent in northern and central Mexico.

This shy and retiring bird can be difficult to find when feeding in the thick brush it loves, but come spring, the males rise to elevated perches and sing their bubbly songs. The notes are sharp, crisp whistles that accelerate in pace at the end of the song. Some have characterized the song as sounding like a bouncing ping pong ball.

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