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October 19, 2013 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Swamp Sparrow

When most people hear the word “sparrow” they think of the House Sparrow, but they are only one type of sparrow that inhabits North America. There are about 35 other species and, unlike the city dwelling House Sparrow, they spend much of their time out-of-sight, hiding in the grasses, shrubs and undergrowth.

The bird in the photo below is a Swamp Sparrow. They are common in the eastern and central portions of North America. They are migratory and will travel as far north as Canada in the summer and Mexico in the winter. The bird in my photo was foraging in the grasses along the DuPage River and popped up for a few seconds to look around.

Swamp Sparrow

Males and some females have a rusty colored cap, a gray face and a dark eye line. They have a short bill and longer legs than most other sparrows which allows them to wade into the water to forage for food.


As their name implies, the Swamp Sparrow prefers marshes and wetlands and can often be seen in the grasses along streams and ponds. I see them often but they rarely stay still long enough for a photo.


Saturday Snapshot was originated by Alyce at At Home With Books. For the summer it will be hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.

© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. laurelrainsnow / Oct 19 2013 11:09 am

    Thanks for sharing more facts about the wonderful bird world. You seem to see such a wide variety of birds in your area.


  2. Suko / Oct 19 2013 1:46 pm

    Lovely lovely pictures! You’ve captured the beauty of Swamp Sparrows.


  3. cherylmahoney / Oct 19 2013 2:07 pm

    That first picture is quite fierce-looking, for a sparrow!


  4. Ginny / Oct 19 2013 5:41 pm

    You really should have your beautiful bird photos published in a book.


  5. joyweesemoll / Oct 19 2013 6:26 pm

    Wonderful shots. I don’t think I’ve seen a swamp sparrow. Living in St. Louis, I have seen the Eurasian Tree Sparrow because you don’t have to be very into birding before someone makes sure you have that experience.


  6. BermudaOnion / Oct 19 2013 7:36 pm

    Hm, I wonder if there are any near the ponds in our neighborhood. I’m going to keep a look out for them.


  7. Louise / Oct 20 2013 12:39 am

    Little birds are so hard to photograph, well done for catching these guys. I accidentally photographed at least one non-house sparrow in Europe this summer- I have to search out what it actually was.


  8. samstillreading / Oct 20 2013 3:51 am

    Gorgeous! We don’t get these sparrows here. He’s so cute!


  9. Pat @ Posting For Now / Oct 24 2013 9:33 am

    Beautiful sharp, crisp images!


  10. MarthaE / Oct 25 2013 10:25 pm

    My goodness! You could sell your bird photos or, as Ginny suggests, maybe a book of your own!
    Wonderful shots.


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