Fox Sparrow  ( Bruant fauve )

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Passerella iliaca

Description:    Fox Sparrow
Photo Date:   October 26, 2008


Kenabeek, Henwood Township


Michael Werner

General Notes

A large, striking sparrow, this species is a Hudson Bay Lowlands breeder, and is only found in Timiskaming as it passes through during spring and fall migration.  The migration period, particularly in spring, can be very brief, with all of the birds that pass through Timiskaming often doing so in as short a period as two to five days.  Unless you are paying careful attention to the daily, and often weather dependent, ebb and flow of the spring migration, you are likely to miss this species. They also pass through early compared to other songbird migrants, usually in early to mid April. The fall migration is a little more protracted, but also occurs over a shorter period of time than for our other migrant sparrows.

A real skulker, this species feeds on the ground, often in dense thickets and the edges of brushy clearings.  The melodic song is loud, clear and distinctive, and can be somewhat reminiscent of a Cardinal.

Abundance: Uncommon Earliest observed:  

Typical spring arrival:

April 13

Typical fall arrival:

Sep. 27
Breeding Status: Migrant Latest observed:  

Typical spring departure:

April 25

Typical fall departure:

Oct. 30


Banding Results






1991 1     1
1995 1     1
1997 2 1   3
2001 2   6 8
2002   2 3 5
2003 2 2   4
2004   1 5 6
2005     2 2
2006 5   3 8
2007   1   1