It's peak time for native sparrows in our area right now. Those most likely to visit your yard include Fox, Chipping, Song, White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows. But also keep an eye out for less common Savannah, Field, or Lincoln's Sparrows as well.
Here's how you can make your yard more inviting for native sparrows:
1) Offer White Millet
Offer white millet or a seed blend that contains millet such as WBU Deluxe Blend or Select Blend.
2) Present seed in ground feeders and open tray feeders
Offering seed in ground feeders or a large open tray will give you the best chance of seeing these birds use a birdfeeder. Chipping, White-throated, White-crowned Sparrows and juncos are most likely to use these feeders, the other sparrows less so (but never say never!)
3) Broadcast seed under birdfeeders and in nearby shrubs
Some of these sparrows are less likely to use a birdfeeder, so broadcasting seed on the ground will keep them happy. I've personally never seen a Fox Sparrow, or the rarer sparrows, on a birdfeeder. All the native sparrows are a little "spooky" and feel comfortable foraging under shrubs, so toss some seed in those shrubs. Also spread it under birdfeeders for when they come out from the cover.
Offer a water source such as a birdbath.
5) Keep cats indoors
Native sparrows feed primarily on the ground. Keep them safe by keeping cats indoors.
While some of these sparrows may breed in our area, for the others, our yard is just a welcome respite on their long trip to the boreal forest of Canada. You can help make their trip a little easier by doing these tips!