|Photo by Paul Sullivan|
As you might expect from a bird with the word "song" in its name, its call is also one you can learn to recognize. Thoreau interpreted the male's three short notes and buzzy trill as "Maids! Maids! Maids! Hang up your teakettle-ettle-ettle!" but other interpretations are "Hip-hip-hip-hooray, boys, spring's here!" and "Pres-pres-pres-byteri-eri-erian," and the more ecumenical "Peace-peace-peace unto you, my children."
See if you can hear the beat of those phrases--or come up with a better interpretation--by listening to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website's song sparrow call here.