In common with the Saltmarsh Sparrow, the Swamp Sparrow nests on or close to the ground, so it is vulnerable to nest mortality from flooding, which has become more frequent as climate change has accelerated. Breeds mostly in freshwater marshes with good growth of sedges, grass, or cattails, often with thickets of alder or willow; sometimes in swampy thickets around ponds and rivers. Nest (probably built by female only) often has bulky foundation of coarse grass and other marsh plants, with inner cup of fine grass. Zoom in to see how this species’s current range will shift, expand, and contract under increased global temperatures. Like Grasshopper, White-throated, and Baird's Sparrows, they also eat many seeds, especially in fall and winter. This habitat, home to numerous other breeding birds such as the Swainson's Thrush and Olive-sided Flycatcher, is known as "North America's Bird Nursery," and faces ongoing threats from oil and gas exploration, logging, and mining. In common with the Saltmarsh Sparrow, the Swamp Sparrow nests on or close to the ground, so it is vulnerable to nest mortality from flooding, … from Dec-Feb Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. To defend nesting territory, male sings from a raised perch, such as the top of a cattail or a shrub in the marsh. Lives of North American Birds. In winter they live not only in marshes but also in thickets and weedy fields away from water. Description, range, habitat, songs and calls, identification tips, and behavior. The species spends winters in the central and southeastern regions of the U.S. and south into central Mexico. Their clear, mellifluous trills resonate through wetlands from central Canada to the eastern United States, where Swamp Sparrows are fairly common but often hidden among aquatic plants. Or take action immediately with one of our current campaigns below: The Audubon Bird Guide is a free and complete field guide to more than 800 species of North American birds, right in your pocket. Young leave the nest about 10-13 days after hatching. over the past 10 years (2009-2019) Unlock thousands of full-length species accounts and hundreds of bird family overviews when you subscribe to Birds of the World. A Shaky Song Reveals an Old Sparrow's Age to Younger Competition, Swamp Sparrows Have Been Singing the Same Tune for Centuries. The Swamp Sparrow, like the Song Sparrow, is often dismissed as a "little brown job." Although they often stay out of sight, they may be detected by their sharp callnotes, and they will come up to investigate a birder who makes loud "squeaking" sounds next to the marsh. Often 2 broods per year. Facts about the habitat, diet, feeding behavior, nesting, and migration of the Swamp Sparrow. National Audubon Society More than 70 percent of Swamp Sparrows breed in and around the boreal forests of the northern U.S. and Canada. The coastal prairie is found along the coastal plain of southwestern Louisiana and is the southernmost tip of the tallgrass prairie that is found in the Midwestern U.S. We protect birds and the places they need. Our site uses cookies to collect anonymous information about your use of our website. (From Animal Diversity Web), Range in New England Diet includes many beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, crickets, ants, and many others, as well as other arthropods. This bird is a short-distance migrant, only moving as far south as central Mexico, with much of the population wintering in the southeastern United States. The reddish cap might suggest a Chipping Sparrow, but this bird of the marshes is bigger and bulkier, a solitary skulker in dense cover. Dead cattail blades or other leaves often arch over the nest, so that the birds must enter from the side. A bird of the wetlands during the breeding season, the Swamp Sparrow appears in a variety of other habitats during migration and in winter. In winter they live not only in marshes but also in thickets and weedy fields away from water. Photo: Zak Pohlen/Flickr (CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0). Our email newsletter shares the latest programs and initiatives. Their clear, mellifluous trills resonate through wetlands from central Canada to the eastern United States, where Swamp Sparrows are fairly common but often hidden among aquatic plants. Often 2 broods per year. Swamp Sparrows can be found throughout the eastern United States and boreal Canada, preferring marshes with tall vegetation and scattered shrubs. Photo: Dick Dickinson/Audubon Photography Awards, Adult. Includes photos, range map and sounds. Help this Species. The neck and much of the face are gray, as is the breast. Swamp Sparrows provide sweet accompaniment to spring mornings in boreal bogs, sedge swamps, cattail marshes, and wet brushy meadows. Although it doesn't fly far, it faces the same threats as birds that travel long distances, such as Blackpoll, Blackburnian, and Canada Warblers. It is a reddish-brown bird with dark stripes down its back. During migration and winter found mainly in marshes, but also in streamside thickets, rank weedy fields. Fresh marshes with tussocks, bushes, or cattails; sedgy swamps. Photo: Howard Arndt/Audubon Photography Awards, Great Egret. Speak out against the Yazoo Backwater Pumps which would drain 200,000 acres of crucial bird habitat. Legal Notices Privacy Policy Contact Us. Many migrating Swamp Sparrows are killed by collisions with glass, turbines, and communication towers; they're also preyed upon by outdoor cats. May sing by day or night. BIRD OF THE WEEK: March 20, 2020 SCIENTIFIC NAME: Melospiza georgiana POPULATION: 22 million TREND: Increasing HABITAT: Breeds in freshwater wetlands; during migration and in winter found in brushy habitats near water. Christmas Bird Count Map Swamp Sparrows feed heavily on insects during the summer, including beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and other arthropods. Visit your local Audubon center, join a chapter, or help save birds with your state program. Bald Eagle. from Dec-Feb The Swamp Sparrow with its reddish cap might be confused with the Chipping Sparrow, but the Swamp Sparrow is bigger, bulkier, and occurs in very different habitat. Three subspecies of Swamp Sparrow are recognized. This information is used to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Mostly insects and seeds. But a closer look reveals a bird richly colored in earthy tones of russet, brown, and cool gray, set off by a white throat and reddish cap. ABC's BirdScapes approach to conservation, which stresses the protection of both nesting and wintering habitats, benefits the Swamp Sparrow and many other short- and long-distance migratory species. It is rather shy, but responds readily to any squeaking noise, and can usually be lured into view by a patient observer. (From WhatBird.com), Swamp Sparrow (Scroll down to hear the song and see if you agree!). (From Audubon Field Guide), Swamp Sparrow Swamp Sparrow by Paul Reeves Photography, Shutterstock. and includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Birds can lose their singing skills over time, and according to a new study, Swamp Sparrows use these clues to identify territorial threats. Other animals require wetland habitat, too, among them bitterns and other marsh birds, dragonflies, fishes, mammals, and a host of reptile and amphibian species. Help power unparalleled conservation work for birds across the Americas, Stay informed on important news about birds and their habitats, Receive reduced or free admission across our network of centers and sanctuaries, Access a free guide of more than 800 species of North American birds, Discover the impacts of climate change on birds and their habitats, Learn more about the birds you love through audio clips, stunning photography, and in-depth text. © 2001-2020 Nature of New England, Identification tips for the Swamp Sparrow, Sightings of the Swamp Sparrow Illustration © David Allen Sibley. Swamp Sparrows provide sweet accompaniment to spring mornings in boreal bogs, sedge swamps, cattail marshes, and wet brushy meadows. Includes photos, range map and sounds. Pale green to greenish white, heavily marked with reddish brown. Swamp Sparrows feed heavily on insects during the summer, including beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and other arthropods. In New England, this bird can be found during the winter primarily in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and along the coast of New Hampshire. In addition, it has a larger bill and grayer plumage than other Swamp Sparrow subspecies.