Sparrows & Allies

Eastern Towhee

The Eastern Towhee is between 7 and 8 inches long. The female is mostly a light brown colored bird. It has a long tail with white on the tip. The male Eastern Towhee is black. The name of the bird comes from the sound of the bird's call. Eastern Towhees live in the forest. The female Eastern Towhee builds the nest and lays 3 or 4 eggs in the nest. The female has the responsibility of keeping the eggs warm. The male Towhee does most of the feeding of the young birds. For food, the Eastern Towhee eats insects, seeds, and fruit. They can be seen hopping on the leaves looking for insects and seeds to eat. Eastern Towhees are year round residents of the Outer Banks.

Chipping Sparrow

The Chipping Sparrow is 5 inches long. It is mostly gray and brown in color. The chest of the bird is completely gray. Chipping Sparrows are usually spotted living in gardens and backyards. When migrating, Chipping Sparrows travel in packs of 20 to 30 birds. The nest of the Chipping Sparrow is lined with the hair of animals. The female Chipping Sparrow lays 3 to 5 eggs in the nest. Female Chipping Sparrows also keep the eggs warm. For food, Chipping Sparrows feed on insects and seeds. Chipping Sparrows are frequently seen on the Outer Banks in August.

Clay-colored Sparrow

Clay -colored Sparrows are between 5 and 5 ½ inches long. The Clay-colored Sparrow is brown in color with dark streaks along the head of the bird. The Clay-colored Sparrow can be seen living in bushy grasslands and prairies. The nest of the Clay-colored Sparrow is usually built in clumps of weeds. The female bird deposits 3 to 5 eggs in the nest. For food, Clay-colored Sparrows eat seeds. Clay-colored Sparrows are not a frequently seen bird around the Outer Banks.

Field Sparrow

The Field Sparrow is 5 ¼ inches long. The Field Sparrow has 3 distinct physical characteristics that distinguish it from other types of Sparrows. It has a bright pink bill, a dark brown head, and a white ring around the eye of the bird. Field Sparrows like to live in abandoned animal pastures and fields with overgrown weeds. Field Sparrows build their nest in high patches of weeds. The nest is constructed mostly out of grass and twigs. The female Field Sparrow lays 4 eggs in the nest. The eggs are brown in color. Field Sparrows usually feed on insects found in the pasture. Field Sparrows can be found living along the Outer Banks all year.

Vesper Sparrow

The Vesper Sparrow grows to a length ranging between 5 and 6 ½ inches long. It is gray in color with white lining the outer tail feathers. Vesper Sparrows usually live in pastures and fields located in farming areas. The nest of the Vesper Sparrow is usually well hidden in the grass. The nest is constructed out of grass and roots. The female lays 4 white eggs in the nest. The Field Sparrow feeds on flying insects. Field Sparrows are infrequently seen around the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Lark Sparrow

The Lark Sparrow is between 5 ½ and 6 ½ inches long. The bird has patterns of black, white, and brown along its body. Lark Sparrows like to live in areas of open grasslands with a sparse amount of trees. The nest of the Lark Sparrow is usually built in a small tree or on the ground. The female Lark Sparrow deposits 3 to 5 eggs in the nest. The eggs are a white color with lots of black and brown spots. For food, Lark Sparrows eat seeds. Lark Sparrows are not a common sight in North Carolina.

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Terms: The Birds of the Outer Banks: Sparrows & Allies

The Birds of the Outer Banks;Sparrows & Allies

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