Fringilla passerina Bechstein, 1798, Quebec. Six subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Chippy; French: Bruant familier; German: Schwirrammer; Spanish: Gorriуn Cejiblanco.
4.5–5.5 in (12–14 cm); 0.4 oz (12 g). A small, slim sparrow with a long, notched tail. Sexes are similar in color. Adults have a rufous cap with a white stripe over the eye, a black eyeline stripe, a gray nape and rump, and pale gray, unstreaked underparts. Juveniles are like adults but buff, with a streaked, brown cap.
Breeds from southeast Alaska east across Canada to southwest Newfoundland and south to Florida, the Gulf Coast west to northern Baja California, and south in the highlands of Mexico to Guatemala. Winters in southern United States and Mexico.
Breed in dry, open woodlands and woodland edge with fairly open understory and in urban parks and golf courses. They are found in deciduous, coniferous, or mixed woods. Resident Breeding Nonbreeding Spizella passerina Resident Breeding Nonbreeding Calamospiza melanocorys
5.5–7 in (14–18 cm); 1.4 oz (40 g). A large, chunky sparrow with a large bill. Sexes differ in color. Males in breeding plumage are black with conspicuous white patches in the wing and white corners to the tail. Females are heavily streaked with chocolate-brown, with whitish buff in the wings and white or light buff corners to the tail. Juveniles are similar in color to females but with a yellowish cast to their plumage. Males in winter resemble females but usually have some black feathers.
Breed from the southern Canadian prairies south to eastern New Mexico and northwest Texas. Winters from southern Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and central Texas south through Baja California and northern Mexico.
Breed in shortgrass prairie interspersed with sage or other shrubs. In winter then are found in weedy, dry grasslands or open farmland.
On the breeding ground, they are conspicuous birds, with males frequently giving an elaborate stiff-winged flight display. They run or hop on the ground. In winter they are found in flocks.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Forage on the ground, eating mostly insects in the summer and seeds in the winter.
Usually monogamous, although some males, especially where density is high, have two or more mates. The cup-shaped nest is placed on the ground, under a bush or in taller vegetation where it is protected from the sun. Three to seven (usually four to five) eggs are laid from mid-May through mid-July. Incubation lasts 12 days, and the young leave the nest after 8–9 days.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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