Chipping Sparrow
(Spizella passerina)


Picture of bird
© Dan Busby
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

The Chipping Sparrow is one of the most abundant and widespread songbird species in Canada, with a breeding range reaching from the west to the east coast and from the southern Canadian border to the Yukon. Based on Breeding Bird Survey results, the species' population has changed little relative to about 1970.


Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Secure2015 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaLittle ChangeMediumAt an Acceptable Level

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada> 50,000,000 adults

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Long-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population

General nesting period in Canada

Nesting period starts between mid-May and early June and ends between late July and early August, depending on the region. Before or after this period, the probability of an active nest is lower.

Conservation and management

The Chipping Sparrow has benefited from changes brought about by humans and is more abundant today than before the European settlement period of North America (Middleton 1998). Well adapted to changes resulting from forest clearing, agriculture and urban expansion (Middleton 1998) the causes of decline are not known. Forest-clearing and habitat fragmentation may have increased this species' exposure to cowbird parasitism (Middleton 1998). Chipping Sparrow nests parasitized by cowbirds were shown to fledge less than one third the young than unparasitized nests, indicating the effects parisitism may have on the population over time (Strausberger and Hauber 2016). However, still abundant and widespread, there is little conservation concern for the Chipping Sparrow at this time.


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type