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 Field Sparrow

Status in Michigan
Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

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

Use the links below to view the Field Sparrow reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Summer 2005
View Field Sparrow sightings.
Field Sparrow Archives Reports
Spring 2005
Fall 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 03-04
Fall 2003 43
Spring 2003 54
Winter 02-03 2
Fall 2002 11
Summer 2002 14
Spring 2002 69
Winter 01-02 2
Fall 2001 30
Summer 2001 21
Spring 2001 65
Winter 00-01 7
Fall 2000 16
Summer 2000 20
Spring 2000 60
Winter 00-99 23
Fall 1999 7
Spring/Summer 1999 5

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Field Sparrow

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

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

Historical Text

Spizella pusilla pusilla (Wilson)
Eastern Field Sparrow (A.O.U. 1998: Field Sparrow)

Common summer resident in the Lower Peninsula. Reported from parts of the Upper Peninsula. Recorded once in winter (Monroe County).

First listed for Michigan by Sager (1839: 414).

SPRING.-Arrival of individuals is reported in late March and beginning of main flight by the first week in April.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Toledo-Erie marsh area, L. W. Campbell (1940: 196) listed March 30 as the average date of arrival of individuals; in the Detroit area, Swales usually recorded individuals during the first week of April and found the species common by the middle of the month. Field Sparrows have occasionally been reported in late March in the vicinity of Ann Arbor; a specimen (Max M. Peet collection) was taken by R. E. Morrill on March 13, 1938, and 5 individuals were seen by Maurice G. Brooks on March 26, 1939. N. A. Wood (1922: 22) noted the species as a common migrant in Berrien County from the end of April (1918 to 1920); Walkinshaw (1939: 108) gave April 2 as the average date of arrival in the vicinity of Battle Creek. G. A. Ammann recorded arrival at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, on April 9, 1940, and D. W. Douglass, at Sand Point, Huron County, by mid-April or somewhat later in the years 1931 to 1933.

SUMMER.-Breeding specimens (U.M.M.Z.) have been taken as far north in the Lower Peninsula as Crawford County and South Fox Island, Leelanau County. Nests with eggs have been reported from early May to early August though they are found most commonly between late May and mid- July.

Lower Peninsula.-Swales (18926; 159) noted a nest with 3 eggs near Detroit on August 2, 1892. In the Ann Arbor area, nests have been found as early as May 11 (1936, nest with 4 eggs, by L. D. Case) and May 20 (1936, nest with 3 young and 2 eggs, by R. A. MacMullan and R. E. Morrill). In the southwestern part of the peninsula, N. A. Wood (1922:22) listed the species as a common summer resident in Berrien County (1918 to 1920) ; "Walkinshaw (1936&: 94) found nests near Battle Creek between May 2 (1931, nest with 3 eggs) and August 10 (1923, nest with 4 eggs) ; and F. W. Rapp (1931: 23-24) discovered a nest with 3 eggs near Vicksburg, Kalamazoo County, on August 2, 1902. This sparrow was listed as a common breeder in northwestern Huron County (N. A. Wood and Gaige, 1911: 292) ; in Crawford County as many as 20 were seen in a day during July and early August, 1931, and several specimens (U.M.M.Z.) were secured (Leonard Wing, notes). N. A. Wood saw 2 near Charlevoix, in late August, 1922 (Van Tyne, 1925: 623), and A. E. Staebler collected 2 (U.M.M.Z.) on South Fox Island, Leelanau County, in late June, 1939. N. A. Wood, Smith, and Gates (1916: 15) saw 1 near Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, on July 22; Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) noted ' adults feeding fledglings on July 7, 1931, August 8, 1931, and August 8,1937.

Upper Peninsula.-Apparently no specimens have been collected from this peninsula, but the species has been reported a number of times. Magee wrote that he saw 1 Field Sparrow near Sault Ste Marie, on May 27, 1923, and found a nest with young there in July, 1910. Bryens (1939: 105) noted a Field Sparrow at McMillan, Luce County, on May 8, 1934, and he has several September and October sight records. N. A. Wood (1918: 11) saw the species at Whitefish Lake, Alger County, on June 25 and July 14; Leonard Wing (1940: 198) observed the species at Rapid River, Delta County, on June 5.

FALL.-The scanty information available indicates that the Eastern Field Sparrow migrates southward in September and early October. N. A. Wood (1911: 101-2) saw it in numbers on Charity Island, Huron County, on September 27. Walkinshaw (1939: 108) observed it at Battle Creek as late as November 7 in 1935, but gave October 22 as the average date of departure from that locality. Near South Haven, Van Buren County, Leonard Wing saw 5 birds on September 17, 1931; and N. A. Wood collected a number (U.M.M.Z.) in the vicinity of Ann Arbor in late September and early October, 1906. Swales generally recorded the species in the Detroit area only until the last of September, although in 1912 he observed it in numbers in mid-October (15 on October 13, 10 on the following day, and 5 on October 18). L. W. Campbell (1940:196) noted October 30 as the average date of departure for the species in the Toledo-Erie marsh area.

WINTER.-Two specimens (U.M.M.Z.) were collected in Erie Township, Monroe County, on January 22, 1944, by L. W. Campbell and Harold May- field.

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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