Skip to content

Wildlife Spotlight: Fox Sparrow

PictureFox Sparrow

​The Fox Sparrow is a large, plump-bodied sparrow with rust-colored feathers with a mix of gray and brown hues that resemble the coloring of a fox. Coloring of this species may vary depending on the region and can often be identified by subspecies including Red Fox Sparrow, Slate-colored Fox Sparrow, Sooty Fox Sparrow and Thick-billed Fox Sparrow.
Fox Sparrows spend much of their time close to the ground foraging for food in fallen leaves and under dense cover. With a diet consisting mainly of seeds, insects and berries, the Fox Sparrow searches for food by scratching the soil, making a small forward jump, then scratching back with both feet. During breeding season, Fox Sparrows nest low to the ground in chaparral habitats, under dense, shrubby vegetation.  

From September 2021 to March 2022, local birders of all levels can help OC Parks staff track the variety of bird species that make the Landmarks their home during the winter months by participating in the Migratory Bird Survey in Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve.  To learn more about the next survey activity, click here
For more information about native wildlife on the Landmarks, visit or follow the Landmarks on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.