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 Lincoln's Sparrow

Status in Michigan
Uncommon 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 Lincoln's Sparrow.

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

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Lincoln's Sparrow sightings.
Lincoln's Sparrow Archives Reports
Fall 2003 40
Spring 2003 20
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 27
Summer 2002 0
Spring 2002 27
Winter 01-02 4
Fall 2001 19
Summer 2001 2
Spring 2001 13
Winter 00-01 1
Fall 2000 16
Summer 2000 2
Spring 2000 14
Winter 00-99 1
Fall 1999 3
Spring/Summer 1999 1

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Lincoln's Sparrow

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Lincoln's Sparrow
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Lincoln's Sparrow
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

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

Historical Text

Melospisa lincolnii lincolnii (Audubon)
Lincoln's Sparrow

Regular transient. Summer resident in Luce and Schoolcraft counties in the Upper Peninsula and possibly in Crawford County in the Lower Peninsula.

First authoritatively recorded for Michigan by Gibbs (1879: 486).

SPRING.-Individuals are reported in the last few days of April or in early May, larger numbers during the last 3 weeks of May.

Lower Peninsula.-L. W. Campbell (1940: 197, 210) gives May 9 as the average date of earliest arrival for individuals in the Toledo-Erie marsh area, and May 13 for the main flight. Specimens (U.M.M.Z.), taken in the southeastern corner of Michigan, include: Rockwood, Monroe County, May 12, 2023 (1 by N. A. Wood); Greenfield Township, Wayne County, May 15, 2023 (1 by Taverner) ; the Ann Arbor area, April 30, 2023 (1 by L. D. Case); May 17, 2023 (1 by N. A. Wood); and May 24, 2023 (1 by Walter Koelz). In Berrien County, N. A. Wood (1922: 22) procured several specimens (U.M.M.Z.) between May 10 and 15, 1920. Gibbs (1885:87) listed Lincoln's Sparrow as a rare straggler in Kalamazoo County; Walkinshaw (1939: 111) saw 1 at Battle Creek on May 5, 1934. The species was seen at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, by G. A. Ammann on May 13, 1940; a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) was collected at Fish Point, Tuscola County, by N. A. Wood on May 24, 1926; and 3 individuals (May 19, 25, and 27, 1931) were banded at Sand Point, Huron County, by D. W. Douglass.

Upper Peninsula.-In Chippewa County, R. E. Olsen collected a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) at Munuscong Bay on May 13, 1934, and Brodkorb collected 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) at Whitefish Point (May 10 and 21, 1936). Bryens (1939: 106) has observed Lincoln's Sparrows at McMillan, Luce County, between May 7 (1935) and May 22 (1937). In 1931 N. A. Wood collected a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County, on May 25 (1933: 727); and 4 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) on Isle Royale in 1930, 2 on May 13, and 2 on May 22.

SUMMER.-Lincoln's Sparrow has recently been found during the summer in several localities in Michigan, and it is known to nest in the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula.

Lower Peninsula.-Walkinshaw (1941d; 69-71) and several other ob- servers noted about 6 of these sparrows singing near Lake Margrethe, Craw- ford County, on June 22, 1941. They watched 2 adults with food in their bills, but were unable to find a nest or young. On July 4 and 5, a number of adults were seen in the same locality, but again no nest or young could be found.

Upper Peninsula.-About 12 miles north of Newberry, Luce County, F. W. Braund (1940: 67-68) found 2 nests, each with 4 eggs, on June 12, and on June 21, 2 more nests, 1 with 5 eggs, and 1 with young. N. A. Wood (1918 : 11) collected a specimen (U.M.M.Z.) in the northwestern part of Alger County on July 24, 1916. At Blaney, Schoolcraft County, Christofferson and Magee observed 5 of these sparrows singing on June 30, 1932; and on July 5, they found a fledgling that was barely able to fly.

FALL.-The fall migration, for which the records are more numerous than for the spring, occurs mainly between the last of August and early October.

Upper Peninsula.-This sparrow was listed as common on Isle Royale from September 12 to 15, 1905, by Max M. Peet (1909: 368); and specimens (U.M.M.Z.) were collected there by N. A. Wood between August 28 and September 19,1929. S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929 : 183), recorded Lincoln's Sparrow as a rare transient in the Huron Mountain region, Marquette County, and collected a specimen there on September 24, 1933. In 1936 Ira N. Gabrielson also collected 1 there on September 21 and saw 5 individuals on both September 22 and September 25. At Deer Park, Luce County, R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker saw 4 on August 29, 1938, and 2 on the next day. Near McMillan in the same county, Bryens (1939: 106) has found this sparrow between August 15 (1932) and October 19 (1937). Magee banded an individual at Sault Ste Marie on October 13, 1938, and at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, Christofferson saw 2 on September 17, 1937, and banded 1 on October 6, 1940.

Lower Peninsula.-Three Lincoln's Sparrows were seen near Houghton Lake, Roscommon County, on October 1, 1938, by Trautman, and 1 at Gray- ling, Crawford County, on September 6,1903, by N. A. "Wood and Frothing- ham (1905: 50). On Charity Island, Huron County, N. A. Wood (1911:102-3) listed this sparrow in 1910 from September 7 to October 1, recording it as common on September 14, 18, and 21. At Battle Creek, W. E. Mulliken (1899: 8) collected a specimen on September 24, and E. M. Brig- ham, Jr., banded 1 on October 17, 2023 (Walkinshaw: 1939: 111). At least 10 Lincoln's Sparrows were seen and another collected near St. Joseph, Berrien County, by G. A. Ammann on September 28, 1938. Near Ann Arbor, in 1942, A. E. Staebler saw 4 Lincoln's Sparrows on September 26; 4 on September 29; five (1 in U.M.M.Z.) on October 3; and 2 on October 6. At Detroit Swales (1905: 112) listed this sparrow as a regular transient during the first 10 days of October; J. Claire "Wood (1909: 46) saw it there on September 7; and Taverner (1908: 207) observed it near Detroit on September 13. L. W. Campbell (1940: 210) recorded the species in the Toledo-Erie marsh area from mid-September to mid-October.

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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