Song Sparrow

(Melospiza melodia)

Conservation Status
Song Sparrow
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


N5 - Secure

SNRB, SNRN - Unranked Breeding and Nonbreeding


not listed






5½ to 7 in length

8½ wingspan




Similar Species


Shrubby areas, riparian thickets, forest openings, pastures




Mid-March to late November












Common migrant and breeder




The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

  Class Aves (birds)  


Passeriformes (perching birds)  


Passerellidae (New World sparrows)  


Melospiza (song sparrows)  

New World sparrows were traditionally combined with buntings into the family Emberizidae. Recent phylogenetic analysis (Barker et al. 2013) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis (Klicka et al. 2014) found that the Old World buntings should be separated as a sister to New World sparrows. New World sparrows have been separated into a new family, Passerellidae.


Subordinate Taxa


Eastern group

Atlantic Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia atlantica)

Eastern Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia melodia)

Mountain Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia montana)

Northwestern group

Aleutian Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia sanaka)

Bischoff Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia insignis)

Giant Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia maxima)

Kenai Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia kenaiensis)

Mendocino Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia cleonensis)

Merrill’s Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia merrilli)

Rusty Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia morphna)

Sooty Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia rufina)

Yakutat Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia caurina)

Cismontane California group

Alameda Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia pusillula)

Heermann’s Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia heermani)

Marin Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia gouldii)

Santa Barbara Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia graminea)

San Pablo Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia samuelis)

Suisun Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia maxillaris)

Southwestern group

Brown's Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia rivularis)\

Goldman’s Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia goldmani)

Southwest Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia fallax)

Mexican Plateau group

Mexican Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia mexicana)

Rio Lerma Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia adusta)

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia villai)




Fringilla melodia

Zonotrichia melodia











Visitor Photos

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Mike Poeppe

    Song Sparrow      

Gerry Garcia


Normandale Lake Birdsong Today

...hiking Normandale Lake this morning, we came across this little one belting out a beautiful song for us - and the rest of the free world

Song Sparrow  

Margot Avey

    Song Sparrow      
    Song Sparrow   Song Sparrow  
    Song Sparrow   Song Sparrow  




  Song Sparrow
Allen Chartier
  Song Sparrow  
  Song Sparrow
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
  Song Sparrow  
  Song Sparrow
JMC Nature Photos
  Song Sparrow  



Visitor Videos

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Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.

Gerry Garcia

  Normandale Lake Birdsong Today
Published on Jul 10, 2019

...hiking Normandale Lake this morning, we came across this little one belting out a beautiful song for us - and the rest of the free world

Other Videos
  Song Sparrow
The Music of Nature

Uploaded on Sep 17, 2010

The Music of Nature proudly presents "Song Sparrow," a video portrait featuring several singing Song Sparrows, gathered in the countryside around Ithaca, New York. Song Sparrows are winter residents here and their bright carols are often heard on cold, clear mornings in late winter. Males continue singing well into the summer months.

© 2010 Lang Elliott

  Song Sparrow Portrait

Published on Jun 12, 2012

The Song Sparrow is common throughout North America; more so in the east than west. It can be found in brushy thickets, gardens, streamsides, marshes, roadsides.

It has a white throat and whisker stripes on the face. The breast and side streaking converge into a large central spot. It has pink legs and feet. Its long rounded tail is pumped in flight.

The song is a series of notes starting with 2-3 bright "sweet sweet sweets". It may be represented as "pres pres pres Presbyterian".

  Song Sparrow Singing
Mike Schanbacher

Published on May 23, 2013

A Song Sparrow singing and calling from the top of a shrub. Woods Hole, MA - May 2013. Taken with a Canon t3i and a 55-250mm lens.

  Song Sparrows of Cliff Walk - Newport, Rhode Island
Clive Bramham

Published on Dec 20, 2013

Singing Song Sparrows along beautiful Cliff Walk overlooking the Atlantic coast in Newport, Rhode Island. These scenes are from the first week of June. There's a narrow strip of thick vegetation on one side of the path and the cliff on the other. This prime Breeding habitat is upheld and defended by some of the best singers around. The birds seem habituated to human presence on Cliff Walk, giving a golden opportunity for close-up filming.Birds shown (eastern Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia;Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis; Yellow Warbler, Dendroica petechia; Gray Catbird, Dumetalla carolinensis; American Herring Gull (first summer), Larus argentatus; Double-crested Cormorant, Phalacrocorax auritus. Birds of North America playlist.

  Birds USA... Singing Song Sparrow

Published on Sep 1, 2013

Singing Melospiza melodia

Romans acres, Peru, Indiana USA 06-08-2013




Visitor Sightings

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  Mike Poeppe

Location: near Houston, MN

Song Sparrow  
  Gerry Garcia

Location: Normandale Lake

...hiking Normandale Lake this morning, we came across this little one belting out a beautiful song for us - and the rest of the free world

Song Sparrow  
  Margot Avey

Location: Westwood Hills Nature Center, St Louis Park, MN

I took this bird photo today at Westwood Nature Center in St Louis Park MN. The bird was singing.

Song Sparrow  

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Avon Hills Forest SNA, North Unit

Baker Park Reserve

Belgium Prairie

Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park

Big Woods Heritage Forest WMA

Blaine Preserve SNA

Blaine Wetland Sanctuary

Boot Lake SNA

Bur Oak WMA

Butternut Valley Prairie SNA

Cedar Mountain SNA

Clear Lake SNA

Cleary Lake Regional Park

Clinton Falls Dwarf Trout Lily SNA

Cottonwood River Prairie SNA

Crosby Farm Regional Park

Des Moines River SNA

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Foxhome Prairie

Franconia Bluffs SNA

Glacial Lakes Preserve

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Hastings Sand Coulee SNA

Helen Allison Savanna SNA

Holthe Prairie SNA

Hyland Lake Park Reserve

Iron Horse Prairie SNA

Jensen Memorial WMA

John Murtaugh Memorial WMA

John Peter Hoffman Spring Brook Valley WMA

Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA

Kasota Prairie

Keller Regional Park

Kettledrummer Prairie

Lake Maria State Park

Lawrence Creek SNA

Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

Maplewood State Park

Margherita Preserve-Audubon Prairie

McKnight Prairie

Miller Prairie, West Unit

Minnesota Valley NWR, Rapids Lake Unit

Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area, Lawrence Unit

Mississippi River County Park

Monson Lake State Park

Moose Lake State Park

Mound Spring Prairie SNA, North Unit

Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve

Myre-Big Island State Park

Ney Nature Center

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Hoffman Unit

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Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR, Touch the Sky Prairie Unit

Oronoco Prairie SNA

Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

Pilot Knob

Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

Prairie Creek WMA, Koester Prairie Unit

Racine Prairie SNA

Ripley Esker SNA

Ritter Farm Park

River Terrace Prairie SNA

River Warren Outcrops SNA

Robert Ney Memorial Park Reserve

Rockville County Park

Roscoe Prairie SNA

St. Croix Savanna SNA

St. Croix State Park

Sand Prairie Wildlife Management and Environmental Education Area

Savage Fen SNA

Savanna Portage State Park

Sedan Brook SNA

Seminary Fen SNA

Seven Mile Creek County Park

Seven Springs WMA

Shooting Star Prairie SNA

Spring Lake Park Reserve

Spring Lake Regional Park

Springbrook Nature Center

Stanley Eddy Memorial Park Reserve

Sunfish Lake Park

Tamarack Nature Center

Thompson County Park

Tiedemann WMA

Townsend Woods SNA

Tribute WMA

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Woodland Trails Regional Park







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