|Conservation status||Probably has declined locally, with increasing development and urbanization along California coast, but still very common in much of its range.|
|Family||New World Sparrows|
|Habitat||Brushy areas, chaparral, coastal scrub, gardens. Found in a wide variety of dense low habitats, including streamside thickets, chaparral, pinyon-juniper woods, coastal sage scrub, semi-desert scrub, edges and openings in oak woodland, and well-vegetated gardens and city parks.|
Forages mostly on the ground, sometimes scratching among the leaf-litter. Often comes to bird-feeders, but may do much of its foraging on the ground under the feeding tray.
3-4, rarely 2-5. Pale bluish-white, marked with brown and black. Incubation is by the female, about 11 days. Young: Both parents feed the nestlings. Young may leave the nest after as little as 8 days, before they are able to fly well; remain with parents for several more weeks. A pair may raise 2 or 3 broods per year.
Both parents feed the nestlings. Young may leave the nest after as little as 8 days, before they are able to fly well; remain with parents for several more weeks. A pair may raise 2 or 3 broods per year.
Mostly seeds and insects. Majority of diet, especially in winter, consists of seeds of weeds and grasses, also some waste grain. Also eats insects (including caterpillars and beetles), especially in summer, and eats some berries and small fruits. Young are fed mostly or entirely on insects.
May mate for life, and pairs may remain together on breeding territory all year. Male is very aggressive in defending this territory, actively attacking intruding males or even his own reflection. Nest site is usually in a dense shrub or low tree, typically 4-12' above the ground, but may be very low (sometimes on the ground) or up to 30' or higher. Nest is a bulky open cup, rather loosely made of twigs, grass, weeds, strips of bark, lined with finer grass, rootlets, animal hair.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Permanent resident, rarely moving even short distances away from nesting areas.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
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Songs and CallsSong is a series of squeaky chips on the same pitch, accelerating into a rapid trill. The pattern varies according to the geographical area. The call is a sharp chink and thin tseeee.
Learn more about this sound collection.