September is often seen as autumn migration month, and it is, at least for neotropical insect-eating birds such as Warblers.  But autumn migration continues throughout the season, and October is Sparrow migration month.

Sparrows are with us year-round, of course.  But some species migrate, and October is the best month to look for them in Ohio.

Last month I was out looking for sparrows, and I spotted a few- here they are.


Song Sparrow

One of the most common sparrows in Ohio year-round.  I always enjoy seeing them, or hearing them call at me when I walk by.

They are at home most anywhere outside of forests.


Field Sparrow

A common ‘country’ bird in warm weather who nest in meadows and fields.


White-Throated Sparrow

The classic Ohio sparrow migrant, seen in good numbers.  You can hear them singing their high thin whistle-song, ‘Pure Sweet Canada Canada Canada’.



White-Crowned Sparrow

This migrant often associates with White-Throats.  The first image is of an immature, the second of an adult.


Swamp Sparrow

Seen in large numbers in wet swampy areas during the migration season.


Nelson’s Sparrow

An irregular rare Ohio migrant, seen in swampy areas.  The yellowish bib and face are fairly diagnostic.

I was happy to get a good picture of this species!


American Tree Sparrow

Normally seen in November, I saw this early winter resident at the end of last month.

Wintering over in Ohio sounds sort of crazy, but compared to northern Canada it makes sense weather-wise!


Dark-Eyed Junco

Another sparrow that breeds in Canada and winters over in Ohio.

Pleasant birds that make a chipping sound, this one will be followed by many more soon.

In addition to sparrows, one can still see late Warblers in October, such as Yellow-Rumped Warblers and Palm Warblers.  In addition, there are other birds commonly seen this month, such as the following-


Yellow-Rumped Warbler

A late migrant who sometimes winters over if the poison ivy berry crop is big.

They are one of the only Warblers who can eat something beside insects.


Red-Winged Blackbirds

This species is very numerous out in the country, and in the autumn and winter gathers in large flocks.


Eastern Bluebird

These birds are often seen in small groups, probably families.  They eat berries when the insects are gone.


American Goldfinch

These year-round birds are flocking in their dull winter feather costumes now.

They nest late in the summer because of their fondness for making nests out of Thistle.


Cedar Waxwing

These birds love to eat berries.  You can hear their soft whistles near berry bushes and berry trees in the autumn.


Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

These tiny restless birds migrate through Ohio.  You can call them in close to you by ‘pishing’ (I’ll have to do a post on that one day).

Golden-Crowned Kinglets can also be seen, but I didn’t get a good picture of one last month.

That about covers October’s birding action.  Believe it or not, autumn migration continues on into November with waterfowl- if I get enough decent pictures, I’ll do a post about that 🙂