One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A common American songbird related to the buntings, with a chestnut crown and a white stripe over the eye.
Spizella passerina, family Emberizidae (subfamily Emberizinae)
- ‘I can hear the songs of migrating birds: phoebes, white-throated sparrows, towhees, catbirds, chipping sparrows.’
- ‘Blue Jays and crows seem to have moved in of late, overpowering the persistent chirps of the chipping sparrows and resident cardinals.’
- ‘The plants were going to seed and had attracted a small convention of sparrows: savannah, song, swamp, white-throated, and chipping sparrows.’
- ‘Remember, though, if you think you have 50 song birds daily or 20 chipping sparrows, you should polish your binoculars, review your field guide and take a second look!’
- ‘We found some interesting sparrows including vesper and a first year chipping sparrow going into winter plumage.’
Early 19th century: chipping from US chip ‘chirp’, with reference to the bird's repetitive song.
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