It’s sometimes difficult to tell whether a bird is a resident or a migrant. I’ve occasionally seen Song Sparrows here in the park in June, July, and August, typically months when migratory birds are way up North somewhere nesting and breeding. So those summer birds would be residents. But I see more of them in the fall and winter season, suggesting that migrants come here and add to the resident population. So — is this bird a local, or did it fly here from Canada? We’ll never know. In any event, they can really sing. But it isn’t singing at the moment and I haven’t heard any others sing in the park so far this season. When they do decide to open up, we’ll know it.
Researchers say that these sparrows, like others, learn their songs from their older neighbors. Females prefer males that are good learners, meaning that they’ve embodied the tunes of more than one song mentor in their own repertoire. Good musicians, in other words. Females have a thing for them.