Fox Sparrow

The Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca) is a large sparrow and the sole member of the genus Passerella.

Adults of this bird are heavily spotted and streaked underneath. In eastern and northern birds, the upper parts, wings, rump and tail are rusty and the underparts are white with streaks rusty to dark brown. Western birds have dark brown upperparts and dark brown streaks underneath. In some regions, western birds may have grey on the head and back.

Their breeding habitat is wooded areas across northern Canada and the west coast of North America from Alaska to California. They nest either in a sheltered location on the ground or low in trees or shrubs.

During winter these birds migrate south to the west coast and the eastern United States.

These birds forage by scratching the ground, which makes them vulnerable to cats and other predators. They mainly eat seeds and insects, sometimes supplementing their diet with berries. Birds on the coast may also eat crustaceans.