Don’t Forget Native Sparrows at Bird Feeders

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There are many native sparrows that you can attract to your backyard! Learn how to choose the best kind of sparrow bird feeder.

Most of the time when I mention sparrows, birders think mostly about the non-native house sparrows and the harm that they are doing to some of our native birds. But it’s important to remember some of the other amazing sparrows that you could be attracting to your backyard bird feeders. One simple way to attract many of our native sparrows is to start a seed pile in your yard. The majority of these species prefer to feed on the ground and are unlikely to come to more traditional hanging feeders. By just tossing some seed out in your yard, you just might get to see some new and exciting sparrows!

Sparrow Bird Feeder

If you don’t want to have seed all over the ground, you can use a simple tray feeder with legs that sits close to the ground. The sparrows will still feel comfortable with the low tray and you can avoid the mess of seed everywhere. Here are some of my favorite native sparrows that will come to visit a ground bird feeder or seed pile.

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrows are very common visitors at seed piles throughout much of the northern 2/3 of the US and all of Canada during the winter months. (Check out their range map on eBird)Rob Ripma

American tree sparrows are very common visitors at seed piles below feeders throughout much of the northern 2/3 of the United States and all of Canada during the winter months.

Don’t miss the top tips for feeding birds in winter.

White Throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrows are another common visitor at seed piles. (Check out their range map on eBird)Rob Ripma

White-throated sparrows are another common visitor at ground bird feeders and seed piles. Check out the updated winter finch forecast.

White Crowned Sparrow

Depending on season and location, sometime large flocks of White-crowned Sparrows can be found at seed piles. (Check out their range map on eBird)Rob Ripma

Depending on season and location, sometime large flocks of white-crowned sparrows can be found at seed piles. Learn how to help birds in cold winter weather.

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrows are slightly less common visitors at seed piles. This photo was taken in the Eastern US but if you live out West, you Fox Sparrows might look a little differed! (Check out their range map on eBird)Rob Ripma

Fox sparrows are slightly less common visitors at seed piles. This photo was taken in the Eastern U.S. but if you live out West, your fox sparrows might look a little different!

Next, learn how to attract more juncos to your backyard.

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Rob Ripma
Rob Ripma, a lifelong Indiana resident, has traveled and birded extensively throughout the Americas.