For me, seeing chipping sparrows in Florida in the middle of the winter is strange. That’s because when I lived in New York, the chipping sparrow was an indication of spring, not a sign of winter. Chipping sparrows returned from their southern wintering grounds in March. The sparrows built flimsy stick nests in the white pine trees, raised young and at by the end of the summer, they were gone.
It is mid-February here in Florida and the chipping sparrows are in my back yard eating millet and other small seeds from the hanging bird feeder. Soon the chipping sparrows will be gone. The lengthening of the day will trigger the sparrows to fly north to their nesting grounds. I cannot help but wonder if the individual sparrows at my feeders will be the ones that will appear in my old New York back yard.