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BIRD OF THE WEEK
At first glance, the Song Sparrow is a typical “little brown job,” a term sometimes bestowed by frustrated birders on species in the large, often look-alike sparrow family. But a closer look at this familiar bird reveals a species as variable and interesting as the most exotic quetzal or cotinga.
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Melospiza melodia
POPULATION: 130 million
HABITAT: Breeds and winters in brushy, weedy edges, often along streams or in marshes. Common in suburban habitats.
The Song Sparrow lives up to its name, singing persistently throughout the year. Its song consists of three to four short notes followed by a varied trill, sometimes represented as “maids, maids, maids, put on your teakettle-ettle-ettle ettle.” Its call is a loud, distinctive “chimp.”