Chipping Sparrow

Spizella passerina

Chipping Sparrows have a range that spans most of the North American continent in summer and Mexico in the winter, though the American southwest is also a favorite winter home. They prefer habitat in wooded areas with grassy openings. When nesting season is over, we often find these birds in flocks. Normally they feed on the ground, but will fly out to catch insects when they can.

Today, science recognises five subspecies of Chipping Sparrow. S.p. passerina breeds in North America, east of Minnesota and migrates south to winter in the USA’s southeast and Gulf states. S.p. arizonae breeds in western North America and migrates south to winter in California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Baja California, and the highlands of Mexico. S.p. atremaea is resident in the western mountains of Mexico. S.p. mexicana is resident in central and southern Mexico. S.p. pinetorum is resident in northern Central America.

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