Understanding the Chipping Sparrow in Florida

Chipping Sparrow (CHSP) have been reported as early as August in Alachua County but are rarely seen even by avid birders until October. Their numbers increase dramatically in mid-October most years and feeder activity begins to build.

CHSP are famous for flocking in large numbers, dozens in many cases and a hundred or more in a few, but only in agricultural corridors or in rural backyards where birdfeeding enthusiasts have been offering fresh millet season after season. Most urban and suburban yards struggle to attract more than a few CHSPs and often not even every day during their overwintering date range.

White Proso Millet is, by far, the Chipping Sparrow's preferred food all season long. We will often recommend that feeders offer millet as a supplement to oil sunflower blends that either don't contain millet at all or don't contain enough of it to attract a flock of CHSP. People in rural/agricultural areas are wise to consider offering a dedicated millet feeder during Chipping Sparrow season.