Sparrows are social, seed-eating birds that are easy to find wherever there are humans. The Chipping Sparrow is a common backyard feeder bird that sports a rust-colored cap. Its buzzy, machine-like trill, ringing through the treetops, is one of the earliest sounds of spring.

Though decked out in browns and grays, its coloring takes on a "crisp" and clean appearance during breeding season, as if the bird were sent through a color-enhancing filter. During the winter, its colors fade to more muted and subtle shades.

Where to find Chipping Sparrows

These birds can be found throughout much of North America; they occupy Canada and the northern U.S. states during the breeding season, and live year-round in the southern U.S. and Mexico.

When you’re out and about, you’ll find these birds in shrubs and on the ground, and sometimes singing from high treetops. In the winter and fall, they opt for berries, seeds and grains, but by summer, their food focus is firmly on insects.

Chipping Sparrows in your backyard

Chipping Sparrows are likely to nest in evergreen trees. The male guards the female while she builds. She may even abandon one effort and begin again in a different location. Pairs will raise anywhere from one to three broods of chicks in a breeding season. After the breeding season, Chipping Sparrows gather in foraging flocks.

In your backyard, it’s not at all uncommon to find a pair nesting in an evergreen, bush or some other tree. They’ll also readily gather at your backyard feeder, especially as insect season winds down. Chipping Sparrows love white proso millet, sunflower seeds and cracked corn, so fill your feeder with Lyric Supreme Mix, and they’ll be sure to fly in for a landing.