Yesterday, song sparrow came to visit the feeder. This is the first time I have ever gotten a picture of one.
The song sparrow differs from the house sparrow because of:
1. Steaky sides
2. Pale chest with small central dark spot (can't be seen in these pictures)
3. Alternating color stripes on head.
4. Their song, which is very distinguishable. Listen to it here.
It has been singing for about two weeks in the vicinity of my backyard and I even saw it stop to eat, but never in front of the camera.
This bird is very common and you will most likely encounter it on any birding trip in NJ.
This bird is widespread through America and can be found all the states (execept Hawaii) and Canada.
Due to its large distribution, the song sparrow population displays a large amount of genetic diversity, which includes how they look and behave. There are 24 currently accepted subspecies of song sparrows (wiki song sparrow). While many of these subspecies look similar, they have different genetic makeup from each other which makes them distinct. Even though each subspecies can interbreed with each other, they usually don't do to geographic separation (wiki supspecies).