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Song Sparrow

Melospiza melodia

Scientists consider Song Sparrows, in all their various forms, to be the most widespread of all North American Sparrows. From the northern prairie states, and north across central Canada, many of these birds their spend summers. A significant contingent spend winter in the mid-west and south to northern Mexico, and in large tracts in-between, they are year-round residents. Depending on which study you examine, there are between 25 and 52 subspecies of Song Sparrow in North America and Mexico.

To date, all my meetings with Song Sparrows have been in western states, such as California, Arizona, Oregon, and Wyoming. Their soft familiar call notes, even in territories I’ve not previously explored, bring a comfortable familiarity to my surroundings. When these birds sing their “maids-maids-maids put on your tea kettle-etl-etl” songs, a discerning ear can hear regional differences in the phrasing and renditions of these choruses.

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