Oh, but to hear it sing! The male's song is a joyously long series of canary-like bubbling notes and buzzy trills, on different pitches, with birds joining together to sing in the dawn chorus. It is one of the characteristic sounds of the Great Basin sage lands. And, they often sing in winter and on migration.
It was the singing that attracted my attention, coming from the chaparral on Black Canyon Road out of Ramona. A migrant trio of Brewer's Sparrows were in the thicker bushes along the road with several other sparrow species, migrants and residents alike.
|Brewer's Sparrow in chamise, a common chaparral plant. Ramona, California. March 27, 2016. Greg Gillson.|
Brewer's Sparrows winter commonly in the Anza-Borrego Desert, but are rare elsewhere in the county. They can be found away from the Desert during spring and, especially, fall migration. The first nesting birds in San Diego County were verified in 2001 during the Bird Atlas project, but must be considered very rare breeders, well south of their main breeding range.