12 Types Of Sparrows in Ohio (With Pictures)

Welcome to the fascinating world of sparrows in Ohio! These small birds have made the state their home, with a stunning variety of 20 native species. From urban dwellers to grassland singers, sparrows play an important role in Ohio’s ecosystem. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common species found in the state and discover their unique characteristics and habitats.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ohio is home to 20 native species of sparrows.
  • Sparrows in Ohio inhabit a range of habitats, from urban areas to grasslands.
  • Some common sparrow species in Ohio include the Song Sparrow, a relative of the field sparrow.House Sparrow, and Swamp Sparrow.
  • Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrow, often confused with the white-crowned sparrow.s are also prevalent in Ohio during specific seasons.
  • American Tree Sparrows are winter visitors to Ohio and frequent backyard bird feeders, a common gathering spot for chipping sparrows..

1. Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

  • Scientific name: Melospiza melodia
  • Life span: varies among species, including the white-crowned sparrow. 2-7 years
  • Size: similar to the small chipping sparrow. 5.5-7 in / 14-18 cm
  • Weight: 0.8-1.4 oz / 22-40 g
  • Wingspan: 9.1-9.8 in / 23-25 cm
  • Status: Least Concern, just like the status of the field sparrow., similar to the status of the white-crowned sparrow.
  • Can be seen: All-year specie

Song Sparrow

One of the most common sparrows in Ohio is the Song Sparrow. These birds, including the fox sparrows, are primarily found in habitats near the ground, such as brushy areas and meadows. They are known for their long and melodious songs.

Song Sparrows build their nests in shrubs, close to the ground, providing both protection and easy access to their preferred habitat. Their nests are constructed with a combination of grasses, twigs, and leaves, intricately woven together to form a sturdy structure.

These Ohio sparrow species have a diverse diet, consisting of seeds and insects. They forage through the undergrowth, hopping and scratching the ground with their dainty feet in search of sustenance. Their feeding habits make them an important part of the ecosystem, helping to control insect populations and spread plant seeds.

An interesting fact about Song Sparrows is that their plumage tends to vary across different regions. The patterns and colors of their feathers can showcase unique markings and characteristics, making each bird truly one of a kind.

The melodious songs of Song Sparrows can often be heard throughout Ohio’s parks and natural areas. Their complex and variable tunes are used for communication, attracting mates, and defending territory.

Next time you take a walk in the Ohio wilderness, keep an ear out for the enchanting melody of the Song Sparrow and a chance to catch a glimpse of these lovely birds in action.

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2. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

  • Scientific name: Passer domesticus
  • Life span: 3-5 years
  • Size: 5.5-6.3 in / 14-16 cm
  • Weight: 1.1-1.4 oz / 30-40 g
  • Wingspan: 7.9-9.1 in / 20-23 cm
  • Status: Least Concern
  • Can be seen: All-year specie

The House Sparrow The white-crowned sparrow is a frequently seen species in Ohio, particularly in. urban and suburban areas. These charming birds can often be spotted hopping on the ground, foraging for their favorite foods, seeds, and insects. House Sparrows are native to Eurasia and were introduced to North America in the 19th century. Since then, they have adapted well to the urban and suburban landscapes of Ohio.

House Sparrow

House Sparrows are known for their adaptability and ability to thrive in human-altered environments. As a result, they have become a common sight in backyards, parks, and city streets. Their melodic chirps and lively personalities bring enjoyment to birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts of all ages.

The enduring presence of House Sparrows in Ohio’s urban and suburban areas highlights the successful coexistence of humans and wildlife. These birds have adapted to the urban lifestyle, finding shelter in buildings and utilizing human-made structures for nesting and roosting.

In addition to their adaptability, House Sparrows play an important ecological role. They help control insect populations by feeding on pests such as beetles, caterpillars, and grasshoppers. By doing so, they contribute to maintaining a balance in urban ecosystems.

While House Sparrows may not be as elusive or exotic as some other bird species, their presence is a reminder of the resilience of nature and the interconnectedness of urban environments with the wider natural world. So, next time you spot a House Sparrow fluttering about in your backyard or along a busy city street, take a moment to appreciate their adaptability and the beauty they bring to our urban landscapes.

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3. Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)

  • Scientific name: Melospiza georgiana
  • Life span: 2-4 years
  • Size: 5.5-6.3 in / 14-16 cm
  • Weight: 0.7-1.2 oz / 20-35 g
  • Wingspan: 8.7-9.1 in / 22-23 cm
  • Status: Least Concern
  • Can be seen: All-year specie

Swamp Sparrow

The Swamp Sparrow is a fascinating bird species that can be commonly found in Ohio’s wetland habitats. With its unique trill-like song consisting of clear introductory notes, the Swamp Sparrow’s melodious tunes add a beautiful soundtrack to the marshy landscapes.

These Ohio sparrows have a preference for nest-building close to the ground, often hidden within grassy or marshy areas. Their nest construction skills are impressive, providing a safe haven for their offspring amidst the wetland habitat.

Swamp Sparrows have adapted to foraging primarily on the ground, where they search for a diverse range of food sources. Seeds and insects make up their diet, showcasing their ability to thrive in the wetland ecosystem.

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4. Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)

  • Scientific name: Junco hyemalis
  • Life span: 3-7 years
  • Size: 5.5-6.3 in / 14-16 cm
  • Weight: 0.7-1.1 oz / 20-30 g
  • Wingspan: 7.5-9.8 in / 19-25 cm
  • Status: Least Concern
  • Can be seen: Wintering species that migrate south.

Dark-eyed Junco

The Dark-eyed Junco is a common migrant and breeding bird in Ohio. During the breeding season, they are frequently seen in open grassy areas. Dark-eyed Juncos are ground-feeding seed eaters and have a distinctive appearance with a dark hood and white belly. They are known for their crisp black and white markings.

Breeding Season in Ohio

The breeding season for Dark-eyed Juncos in Ohio typically occurs from April to July. During this time, these sparrows engage in courtship displays and build nests in grassy areas on or near the ground. The females lay a clutch of 3-5 eggs, and both parents take turns incubating them until they hatch.

Habitat suitable for chipping sparrows and fox sparrows. and Diet

Dark-eyed Juncos prefer open grassy areas, including meadows, fields, and forest edges, for breeding and foraging. They are ground-feeding seed eaters, with a diet consisting mainly of seeds, berries, and insects. They forage on the ground, scratching away leaves and debris to uncover their food.

Appearance Habitat Diet
Distinctive black hood, white belly, and brownish streaks. Open grassy areas Ground-feeding seed eaters

5. White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

  • Scientific name: Zonotrichia albicollis
  • Life span: 5-10 years
  • Size: 6.3-7.5 in / 16-19 cm
  • Weight: 0.9-1.3 oz / 25-38 g
  • Wingspan: 8.7-9.8 in / 22-25 cm
  • Status: Least Concern
  • Can be seen: Wintering specie

White-throated Sparrow

The White-throated Sparrow is a native bird species in Ohio commonly found in suburban areas. These sparrows are known for their white throat and striking head and breast patterns. They are abundant and widespread in the state, particularly during the breeding season. White-throated Sparrows feed on seeds and insects.

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6. American Tree Sparrow (Spizelloides arborea)

  • Scientific name: Spizelloides arborea
  • Life span: 2-6 years
  • Size: 5.9 in / 15 cm
  • Weight: 0.6-1.0 oz / 18-28 g
  • Wingspan: 7.9-9.1 in / 20-23 cm
  • Status: Least Concern
  • Can be seen: Wintering species

The American Tree Sparrow is a winter visitor to Ohio, bringing its lovely song and distinctive appearance to backyard bird feeders. With a rusty cap and black-streaked brown back, this sparrow stands out among Ohio’s feathered residents. It delights birdwatchers with its melodious song and can often be found in open grassy areas.

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrows have a strong affinity for backyard bird feeders, where they seek out seeds and insects to sustain them during the winter months. Their presence brings joy to bird enthusiasts, who eagerly await their arrival each year.

Interesting Facts about American Tree Sparrow:

  • They are often seen in flocks during the winter, socializing with other sparrows.
  • Their breeding grounds are located in the Arctic tundra, making Ohio a popular winter destination for them.
  • Despite their name, American Tree Sparrows spend most of their time on the ground rather than in trees.
  • These sparrows are known for their beautiful and complex songs, which they use for communication and courtship.

“The American Tree Sparrow brings warmth and charm to Ohio’s winter landscapes. Its lovely song echoes through the chilly air, reminding us of the beauty and resilience of nature.” – Birdwatchers of Ohio

Characteristics Details
Scientific Name Spizelloides arborea
Size 5.5-6 inches
Habitat Open grassy areas, fields, and marshes
Diet Seeds, berries, insects
Migration Winter visitor to Ohio, breeding in the Arctic tundra

Other Sparrow Species in Ohio

Ohio is home to a diverse range of sparrow species that thrive in the state’s lush grassland areas. Among these grassland sparrows are the Grasshopper SparrowVesper SparrowLark SparrowClay-colored Sparrow, and LeConte’s Sparrow. Each of these species exhibits unique characteristics, habitat preferences, and mesmerizing song patterns, adding to the rich tapestry of Ohio’s sparrow species.

7. Grasshopper Sparrow

Grasshopper Sparrow

  • Scientific name: Ammodramus savannarum, with a streaked appearance not unlike that of the field sparrow.
  • Life span: 2-4 years
  • Size: 4.7-5.5 in / 12-14 cm
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz / 12-18 g
  • Wingspan: 6.3-7.9 in / 16-20 cm
  • Status: Near Threatened
  • Can be seen: Summer specie

The Grasshopper Sparrow, known for its distinct buzzing and insect-like song, prefers open grasslands with scattered shrubs. This small sparrow camouflages well among dry grasses as it forages for insects and grass seeds.

8. Vesper Sparrow

Vesper Sparrow

  • Scientific name: Pooecetes gramineus
  • Life span: 2-5 years
  • Size: 5.9 in / 15 cm
  • Weight: 5.9 in / 15 cm
  • Wingspan: 8.7-9.8 in / 22-25 cm
  • Status: Least Concern
  • Can be seen: Summer specie

The Vesper Sparrow, named after its evening song, can be found in grasslands, prairies, and open fields across Ohio. With its striking facial patterns and melodic tune, this sparrow is a pleasure to spot and listen to on summer evenings.

9. Lark Sparrow

Lark Sparrow

  • Scientific name: Chondestes grammacus, known for its mixed diet like the chipper fox sparrows.
  • Life span: 4-6 years
  • Size: 5.9-6.7 in / 15-17 cm
  • Weight: 0.7-1.1 oz / 20-31 g
  • Wingspan: 9.1-10.2 in / 23-26 cm
  • Status: Least Concern
  • Can be seen: Summer specie

The Lark Sparrow, adorned with a bold black mask and a melodious song reminiscent of a meadowlark, is another grassland dweller in Ohio. It favors open areas with scattered shrubs and has a preference for seeds and insects.

10. Clay-colored Sparrow

Clay-colored Sparrow

  • Scientific name: Spizella pallida
  • Life span: 4-7 years
  • Size: 4.7-5.9 in / 12-15 cm
  • Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz / 12-20 g
  • Wingspan: 7.1-7.9 in / 18-20 cm
  • Status: Least Concern
  • Can be seen: Specie during migration

The Clay-colored Sparrow, known for its understated appearance and a song that resembles a buzzing insect-like trill, can be found in grassy habitats. This sparrow, with its subtle beauty, adds another layer of uniqueness to Ohio’s sparrow population.

11. LeConte’s Sparrow

LeConte's Sparrow

  • Scientific name: Ammospiza leconteii
  • Life span: 2-3 years
  • Size: 4.3-5.1 in / 11-13 cm
  • Weight: 0.4-0.6 oz / 12-18 g
  • Wingspan: 5.9-6.7 in / 15-17 cm
  • Status: Least Concern
  • Can be seen: Specie during migration

Lastly, the LeConte’s Sparrow, a secretive species that often goes unnoticed, inhabits dense grasses in wet meadows and marshes. Its song, a delightful insect-like buzz, is a special treat for those lucky enough to hear it.

12. Grassland sparrows

Grassland sparrows

The grassland sparrow (Ammodramus humeralis) is a small bird found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Its natural habitats include dry savannahsubtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, and pastureland. This robust species has a large head, short tail, and a total length of about 13 cm (5 in). Its upper parts are brownish-grey streaked with black, while the breast and flanks are greyish-buff or pinkish-buff.

The grassland sparrow’s song is a high-pitched but thin series of plaintive phrases, distinct from the yellow-browed sparrow. It feeds on grass and other seeds, as well as small insects, particularly during the breeding season. The nest is cup-shaped and built on the ground, with a runway through the foliage leading to it. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being of “least concern”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Are House Sparrows invasive in Ohio?

Yes, House Sparrows (Passer domesticus) are considered invasive in Ohio.

Q2: Do sparrows in Ohio migrate?

Some sparrows in Ohio migrate, while others are year-round residents. It depends on the species.

Q3: Are sparrows good birds to have around?

Sparrows can be beneficial for controlling insect populations, but they can also be pests in certain situations, such as agricultural settings or urban areas.

Q4: Where are sparrows most common in ohio?

Sparrows are most commonly found in urban and suburban areas, where they have adapted well to human environments.

Mya Bambrick

I am a lifelong bird lover and nature enthusiast. I admire birds for their beauty, diversity, and intelligence. Birding is more than a hobby for me; it is a way of life. Therefore, I created this website to provide better and quality information about bird species. You know there are many bird species in the world right now. I started a path to introduce you to birds one by one.

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