Occurrence in Amherst & Connecticut Valley, Mass.

Common spring and fall migrant; seen in mid-March and again in October

March - April

October - November


Common transient, occasionally abundant. Casual in winter

February - January


Uncommon migrant from early March to mid-April and mid-October to late November

March - November

Coniferous forest undergrowth in summer, dense woodland in thickets, weedy pastures and brushy roadsides in winter.
Nest Materials
The outer wall is made of twigs, strips of bark, shredded wood, rotting wood, broom moss, coarse dry grass, moss, and lichens. The inner cup is often lined with fine grass, rootlets, hair from sheep, cows, or dogs, feathers, moss, and sometimes fishing line.
19th-20th Century Field Notes
FOX - COLORED SPARROW . Rich rust red ; beneath , white , spotted on breast with rusty . Length , 7 inches . Common spring and fall migrant . Earliest arrival , March 15th ; seen again in October . Feeds on seeds . Not injurious . Have never heard it make any sound .

—H.L. Clark, 1887

21st Century Conservation Notes

Some counts of migrants suggest that the species has decreased in recent decades, at least in the East.*