Nonbreeding adult/immature © Jay McGowan
Adult © Keenan Yakola
Adult © Alix d'Entremont
Nonbreeding adult/immature © Larry Therrien
+ 3
Juvenile © Frank King
Adult © Evan Lipton

Swamp Sparrow Melospiza georgiana

Sign in to see your badges



A medium-sized sparrow with attractive rufous and gray pattern. Slightly smaller than Song Sparrow, with a blurrier look overall (like a watercolor vs. an oil painting). Look for bright reddish-brown wings and relatively plain underparts. Adults are plain grayish below with buffy sides; males have a rufous crown. Immatures often show buffy tones on the face and streaking on the underparts, but never as crisp and extensive as Lincoln’s Sparrow. Breeds in cattail marshes and other wetlands; found in a variety of shrubby habitats during migration and winter, but often in wet areas. Typically not in flocks with other sparrows, and rarely visits feeders. Compare especially with Song and Lincoln’s Sparrows.