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Song Sparrow

Scientific name: Melospiza melodia

With a large number of subspecies and great variability in body size and plumage coloration, the Song Sparrow provides both geneticists and field biologists with many opportunities for study. Song Sparrows occur over most of North America in at least part of the year, and some birds migrate long distances while others make only short movements or are resident.

Territories can be maintained year-round in non-migratory Song Sparrows, and territory size can vary greatly from one part of the continent to another. The extensive breeding range of the Song Sparrow and the diversity of habitats it occupies means that nest parasitism rates by the Brown-headed Cowbird can range from zero to eight-five percent.