Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wintering Sparrows in Florida

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Savannah Sparrow
If you like sparrows, Florida is a pretty good place to be in the winter.  I can only think of four sparrows that breed here: Seaside Sparrow, Bachman's Sparrow, "Florida" Grasshopper Sparrow (for the time being), and Eastern Towhee.  But beginning in the Fall, sparrows begin to come down here for the winter.

Orlando Wetlands Park
Swamp Sparrow
Central Winds Park
Chipping Sparrow
By far the most common of these are Savannah, Swamp and Chipping Sparrows.  They come here in large numbers.  there are some places you might see over a 100 Savannah Sparrows in one place.

Merritt Island NWR, Shiloh Marsh
Nelson's Sparrow
Merritt Island NWR, Shiloh Marsh
Saltmarsh Sparrow
Over by the coast, you can find both Sharp-tailed Sparrows.  Nelson's and Saltmarsh Sparrows can be seen in saltmarsh habitats.

Mullet Lake Park
Le Conte's Sparrow
Tiger Bay Forest WMA
Henslow's Sparrow
Le Conte's and Henslow's Sparrows are a bit trickier to find, but if you lucky, you might just find them.

Canal St.
Grasshopper Sparrow
The "Florida" Grasshopper Sparrow breeds here, though numbers are declining rapidly.  But during the winter time, we get northern migrants to come down and spend the winter with us.  In a few years, these may be the only ones we get to see.

Canal St.
Vesper Sparrow
Merritt Island NWR
Song Sparrow
Lake Apopka, Lust Rd.
Field Sparrow
Canal St.
White-crowned Sparrow
With a little investigating, there are several more sparrows that can be regularly found.  Vesper's Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrows (I don't have any photos of White-throated Sparrows in Florida).  Field Sparrows and Song Sparrows also make appearances, but they can become a little sparse south of Gainesville.

Canal St.
Lincoln's Sparrow
Mead Gardens
Clay-colored Sparrow
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug
Lark Sparrow
And sometimes rarities come down here to spend the winter with us. Lincoln's, Clay-colored and Lark Sparrows sometimes come by.  I still have a list of others to see--Fox Sparrow and Harris' Sparrow are on the top of my list.


  1. Next time I vacation in Florida, looks like I will have to do some sparrow searching. In your beautiful state of Florida, I have only seen a few of the sparrows mentioned above. Good luck spotting Fox and Harris' Sparrows in the near future, Scott! Fantastic photographs!

  2. AMAZING!!! Not only do you identify ALL these different kinds of sparrows, but you actually have photographs of them all, too! I love watching Sparrows, and I think they are under-appreciated (!), but I am far from being able to name them. Thank you~

    1. Thanks so much! Sparrows may be a challenge, but they're a lot of fun!

  3. Great article Scott! I am visiting from the UK next weekend for a fortnight. Will any of these be still present south of Orlando? (I am visiting Key Largo - Everglades - Sarasota - Orlando- Miami)
    Best wishes