When you see his rusty, reddish-brown coat you guess that the foxy colour of it is alone responsible for his name. His light breast is heavily streaked and spotted with brown, somewhat like a thrush’s, and as he is the largest and reddest of the sparrows, it is not at all difficult to identify him.
In the autumn, when the juncos come into the United States from Canada, small flocks of their fox sparrow cousins, that have spent the summer from the St. Lawrence region and Manitoba northward to Alaska, may also be expected. They are often seen in the junco’s company among the damp thickets and weeds, along the roadsides and in stalky fields bounded by woodland. The fox sparrow loves to scratch among the dead leaves for insects trying to hide there, quite as well as if he were a chicken or a towhee or an oven-bird who kick up the leaves and earth rubbish after his vigorous manner.
From Virginia southward, the people know the fox sparrow only as a winter resident. Before he leaves them in the spring, he begins to practise the clear, rich, ringing song, which fairly startles one with pleasure the first time it is heard.
Birds Every Child Should Know by Neltje Blanchan
Author of “Bird Neighbours,” “Birds that Hunt and Are Hunted,”
“Nature’s Garden,” and “How to Attract the Birds.”
NEW YORK GROSSET & DUNLAP
1907 by Doubleday, Page & Company
Title: Fox Sparrow
Alternative Title: Reischer
Creator: Leupold, James C.
Publisher: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Contributors: DIVISION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Date created 2008-04-18