|A Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow|
|Formerly, a beaver pond -- now a meadow rich in migrant sparrows|
|A Swamp Sparrow in relatively dull fall plumage|
|White-throated Sparrows are our most common fall migrant sparrow|
|Our most common summer resident sparrow is the Song Sparrow|
|Adult White-crowned Sparrow eating hulled sunflower seeds|
Lincoln’s Sparrow has been more common this year than any year that I can remember. I’ve now seen them down at the beaver meadow for at least 10 consecutive days. Occasionally, they keep company with Swamp Sparrows and some of the other species I’ve already mentioned. Lincoln’s Sparrow is much shier than your average sparrow, and often they have to be coaxed out of their hiding place with “spishing” sounds. If you ever see anyone with a pair of binoculars, pursing their lips and making weird airy sounds to a bush, then you may have just found someone that is keen on seeing a Lincoln’s Sparrow –or they might be legitimately crazy.
|Lincoln's Sparrow is usually one of our least common migrant sparrows|
|The Fox Sparrow is easily our largest sparrow|
The most recent new arrival is the Fox Sparrow. This sparrow’s general appearance is similar to a Song Sparrow, but they are more ruddy-colored and a size larger. Their size is comparable to a Hermit Thrush. The Fox Sparrow never show up in large numbers –usually no more than a handful of birds are seen at any one time. When they first come through in early spring, they are frequently singing, and so they are easier to find in the brush. In fall however, they make little noise apart from an infrequently given alarm call that is fairly distinctive.
|Pine Siskins are small finches that often can be found with flocks of Goldfinches|
|Purple Finches have been quite common this season|
Technically, all of the sparrows are finches, which is pretty logical if you take the time to examine their bills. The bills of all finches are generally short, conical and perfect for seed cracking. At this time of the year, the sparrows might be joined by several other finches including American Goldfinch, Purple Finch and Pine Siskin. Still more finches by other names include the Cardinal and the Eastern Towhee, both which can currently be seen in the same habitat with our migrant sparrows.
|A female Eastern Towhee|