Song Sparrows are one of those birds that often go unnoticed by many people until they start looking for them. The Song Sparrow is our most common sparrow and can be seen in any yard that is not completely surrounded by uncut forest. Like most members of the sparrow family, the Song Sparrow can be found living in grassy habitats. However the Song Sparrow is most at home in areas that provide lots of shrubs and bushes such as cities, towns, and roadsides.
If you are asking yourself, "Why have I not seen this bird?", the answer is probably because of its solitary nature, small size and plain colour. Although Song Sparrows most likely pass through your yard on a regular basis, you can encourage them to visit more often by placing out some mixed bird seed for them to enjoy. A feeder is one of the best ways to get a good look at a Song Sparrow, though, like the Dark-eyed Junco, it prefers to eat on the ground.
Another good way to detect a Song Sparrow is to listen. Chances are very good that with a little invested time, you can hear the aptly named Song Sparrow. In a typical year, as early as the first week of February, especially on sunny days, this species begins to sing. At first its songs are short, quiet and occur during the warmest part of the day or early in the morning. As the days become longer, the Song Sparrow sings louder and more frequently. By the end of February the Song Sparrow can be heard clearly in full song, and continues to sing until September or October. Its complex song is a little hard to describe, but in winter its jumbled but very musical quality should help you to recognize it. Follow the sound of the song and you will likely see the songster as, when it is singing, the Song Sparrow is least shy and often perches high on a shrub.
The Song Sparrow can be easily identified by its streaked chest that has a large dark brown dot in the center. Song Sparrows also show a chocolate coloured triangle on each side of their neck.