Swamp Sparrow Melospiza georgiana

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Passerellidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors needed...

The Swamp Sparrow breeds in the United States and Canada, particularly in the eastern part of the continent and the north; it is absent as a breeder from the West and the Mountain region of the continent. This is a highly migratory species however and many reach various part of central and eastern Mexico during the non-breeding season. The Swamp Sparrow is well named as it is associated with wetland during much of its life cycle; it tends to breeding marshes more than swamps although a wooded swamp with a small area of emergent vegetation such as cattail will suffice for this species. In winter it may be found in marshes, as well as swamps, flooded woodlands, and most forest edge. The Swamp Sparrow forages on the ground or on floating vegetation but it is particularly fond of probing and picking for food in muddy situations. It is a warm colored sparrow that has a slightly duller non-breeding plumage than in summer. During winter it shows a dull grayish face with a dark post-ocular line, and rusty crown with grey mid-coronal stripe. It is brown and striped above, but there is an obvious reddish-brown wash to the wings and tail; below it is largely grayish and obscurely streaked, with buff wash to the flanks.

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© Robert C. Stein

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/swaspa