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 Chipping Sparrow

Status in Michigan
Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
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Count totals in the NMB Databases for Chipping Sparrow.

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Active Database - Summer 2005
View Chipping Sparrow sightings.
Chipping Sparrow Archives Reports
Spring 2005
Fall 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 03-04
Fall 2003 206
Spring 2003 151
Winter 02-03 15
Fall 2002 57
Summer 2002 70
Spring 2002 184
Winter 01-02 1
Fall 2001 67
Summer 2001 80
Spring 2001 108
Winter 00-01 1
Fall 2000 45
Summer 2000 77
Spring 2000 153
Winter 00-99 1
Fall 1999 11
Spring/Summer 1999 22

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Chipping Sparrow

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text

Spisella passerina passerina (Bechstein)
Eastern Chipping Sparrow (A.O.U. 1998: Chipping Sparrow)

Common summer resident. Common transient. One winter record (Ingham County).

First authoritatively recorded for Michigan by Kneeland (1857: 236).

SPRING.-The Eastern Chipping Sparrow appears in Michigan by mid- April, and in addition to the summer residents large numbers migrate through Michigan from the latter part of April to mid-May.

Lower Peninsula.-The average date of arrival for individuals in the Toledo-Erie marsh area is April 14 (L. W. Campbell, 1940: 196, 210) and for the main flight, about a week later. Swales (1903: 39) noted the species in the Detroit area usually in early April; observers in the Ann Arbor area have on occasion reported it in late March (H. W. Hann saw 1 on March 27, 2023), and have found numbers present by the middle of April (C. J. Spiker saw 32 on April 14, 2023). N. A. Wood (1922: 22) recorded the Chipping Sparrow in Berrien County in late April; Walkinshaw (1939:108) gave April 12 (1930 to 1940) as average date of arrival in the Battle Creek area, but in 1929 recorded the species there on March 25. From 1931 to 1933 D. W. Douglass observed the species to be the most common during the last few days of April and the first week in May at Sand Point, Huron County.

Upper Peninsula.-Christofferson has generally noted the species at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, the latter part of April, and has observed it there in numbers in the second week of May (10 birds seen on May 11, 1937; 12 seen on May 14, 2023). Bryens has made similar observations at McMillan, Luce County; and Brodkorb reported the species as common at "Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, May 8 to 23, 1936. In the vicinity of Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, N. A. Wood (1933 : 726) reported flocks of 30 to 50 between May 4 and May 25. Laurence Dayton saw the species on Isle Royale on May 12,1937, and later; N. A. Wood collected 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) there, May 9 and 26, 1930.

SUMMER.-Nests and eggs are found chiefly in late May, June, and early July.

Lower Peninsula.-Swales (1903: 39; and notes) listed the species as a common summer resident in the Detroit area and recorded several nests there in the latter part of May, including one with 4 eggs found on May 20, 1889, and another with 3 eggs found on the following day. L. D. Case reported a nest with well developed young on August 11, 1939, near Ann Arbor; and A. S. Hyde discovered a nest with 1 egg near Pinckney, Livingston County, on May 24, 1936. The species was listed as a common summer resident in Berrien County (N. A. Wood, 1922: 22) and also in the vicinity of Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County (F. W. Rapp, 1931: 23, nest with 1 egg found there on May 3, 2023). N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911: 292) found that the Chipping Sparrow was very abundant in northwestern Huron County and noted young birds of the year commonly by early July. Chaney (1910: 276) observed this sparrow to be "abundant and every- where" in Mason County; Leonard Wing recorded 4 to 50 of the birds daily near Lovells, Crawford County, in July, 1931; in 1940 D. E. Davis reported them as abundant and nesting in Benzie County; and Widmann (1902: 235) listed the species as numerous in Emmet County. In Charlevoix County it was found to be abundant on the mainland (Van Tyne, 1925: 622-23) and (Barrows, 1904: 80) on Beaver Island. Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) reported the species as nesting commonly in the vicinity of Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, during the last of June and first part of July.

Upper Peninsula.-Bryens found the species nesting at McMillan, Luce County, during June, as a rule, but in 1935 he reported 1 nest with 4 eggs on May 27; in Lake Superior Forest, farther north in the county, F. W. Braund discovered 3 nests, with 4 eggs each, during mid-June, 1940. N. A. Wood recorded the species as very common at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County (1914: 68), and noted it as nesting commonly at Whitefish Lake, Alger County (1918 : 11). It was listed by both Christy (1925 : 213) and S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929: 183), as an abundant nester in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County, and by Gaige (1914:86) as rather common at Brown Lake, Dickinson County; Gaige recorded a nest under construction on July 3, and 4 young just out of another nest on July 20, 1909. As many as 20 individuals were observed daily in the summer of 1938 at Golden Lake, Iron County, by John L. George and R. L. Patterson; but on Isle Royale the species was found rather uncommonly, 1 nest being noted on July 20,2023 (Peet, 1909: 367-68).

FALL.-The main flight occurs from mid-August to mid-September in the northern part of the state and extends to mid-October in the southern counties.

Upper Peninsula.-Flocks of 12 to 60 Chipping Sparrows were seen on Isle Royale from mid-August to the latter part of September (Peet, 1909a: 117; 1909: 367-68). R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker counted 200 at Deer Park, Luce County, on September 1, 1936; only 50 on the following day; and 10 on the third day. At Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, the species was listed as common by Fargo on August 5, 1925; and by Tinker and Olsen on August 26, 1931. The records of Christofferson at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, indicate that the main flight occurs there between late August and mid-September, illustrated by typical records of 1937: 20 Sparrows seen on August 20, 50 on August 22, 30 on August 26, 30 on September 17, and 1 on October 28.

Lower Peninsula.-J. Claire Wood (1913:18) recorded an individual at Lincoln, Alcona County, on October 10 and October 12; A. D. Tinker and R. E. Olsen saw more than 100 at Bed Oak, Oscoda County, on September 1, 1934, and less than 20 on the following day. N. A. Wood and Frothing- ham (1905: 50) listed the species as very common in Iosco County on September 20 and 21. Walkinshaw (1939 : 108) has usually recorded it in the Battle Creek area until the middle of October and, in 1935, until November 1. Swales generally noted 10 to 15 birds daily in the Detroit area during the first part of October, recording larger numbers in 1911 (100 on October 2, and 50 on October 8). L. W. Campbell (1940: 196, 210) found the majority had left the Toledo-Erie marsh area on the average by October 9 and stragglers on the average by October 19.

WINTER.-There is 1 winter record of the Chipping Sparrow: H. A. Atkins (1882o: 100) collected a specimen near Locke, Ingham County, on December 9, 1881.

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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