In suburban neighborhoods throughout much of New England, one is likely to find a resident pair of American Robins or Chipping Sparrows, or both. Robins are classic yard birds who are hard to miss, given their larger size, worm-nabbing skills, and sing-song voices. The smaller Chipping Sparrows, on the other hand, go under the radar of many non-birders. In breeding plumage, the Chipping Sparrow sports a bright rufous cap, black eye-lines, and an unmarked gray chest.
By early May in many areas, Chipping Sparrows are so common that, once you tune into their trills, it can be difficult not be in earshot of one or two of these sharp-looking birds.