Range. - Eastern United States, breeding from Virginia and Missouri north to Manitoba and New Brunswick; winters in the southern half of the United States.
A streaked grayish, buffy and white bird distinguished by its chestnut shoulders and white outer tail feathers. They are abundant birds in eastern fields where their loud piping whistle is known to many frequenters of weedy pastures. They build on the ground, either in grassy or cultivated fields, lining the hollow scantily with grasses. Their four or five eggs are usually laid in May or June; they are dull whitish, blotched and splashed with light brown and lavender tints; size .80 x .60.
A. R. Spaid NEST AND EGGS OF VESPER SPARROW.
Range. - This paler variety is found in North America west of the Plains and south of Saskatchewan.
Its nesting habits are like those of the preceding and the eggs are indistinguishable.
A browner variety found on the coast of Oregon and northern California.
Its nesting habits are like those of the eastern bird and the eggs similar but averaging a trifle smaller.
These birds, which were imported from Europe, have increased so rapidly that they have overrun the cities and villages of the country and are doing inestimable damage both by driving out native insect eating birds and by their own destructiveness. They nest in all sorts of places but preferably behind blinds, where their unsightly masses of straw protrude from between the slats, and their droppings besmirch the buildings below; they breed at all seasons of the year, eggs having often been found in January, with several feet of snow on the ground and the mercury below zero. The eggs number from four to eight in a set and from four to eight sets a season; the eggs are whitish, spotted and blotched with shades of gray and black. Size .88 x .60.