Monday, January 03, 2011

Canada's Sweet Sparrow


Cornell says the white-throated sparrow's song is "Oh sweet Canada."   Their playground is mostly in Canada, but we do get them here much of the winter.  Their dramatic coloring makes them stand out among the brown sparrows of the continent.  This one has his full adult uniform on display.  Gotta love that yellow eye shadow!

The continual burning and logging of our forests insures habitat for these little singers.  According to the Smithsonian "Although white-throated sparrows are indeed common, they should by no means be considered ordinary. These sparrows exhibit a characteristic that is rare in birds, they show genetically-based plumage polymorphism. In other words, these sparrows come in two different color forms, or morphs."  

I actually counted about 15 of these beauties on the ground beneath this feeder, but never got a decent photo as they never sit still.  My new challenge is getting some better photos of this common bird.  Of course, in my yard, NO bird is common.

Below is a photo right after our second big snow the day after Christmas where he is quite fluffy!


17 comments:

Pauline said...

Sparrows are such happy little birds - we have multitudes that stay the winter and their cheerful chirping makes any cold day warmer. I've never seen the Canada Sparrow with the yellow eye stripes- thanks for sharing!

Leah J. Utas said...

Thanks for this. I love the white-throated sparrows and I love hearing their song in the early morning in the spring. Nice to see they're being looked after.

Happy New Year

Celia said...

Sparrows are cheery, they hang out in the big shrubs around my house and chirp as soon as any light appears, nice way to start the day.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Pretty bird, Tabor... Until I started studying more about birds, I had no idea that there were so many varieties of sparrows. I just thought a sparrow was a sparrow... HA---I had alot to learn..

I heard on the news today that thousands of Red-winged Blackbirds have been found dead in Eastern Arkansas. Wonder why??? They don't know yet what happened. SO sad.

Hugs,
Betsy

One Woman's Journey said...

they are beautiful....

Brian Miller said...

ooo love the markings...about to head up intot he mountains myself for a day hike....so i will be listening to the bird songs...

Bossy Betty said...

What a treat to see one of these beauties up close! Thank you!

Maggie said...

I'm so charmed by your entries that I want to leap up and go buy a bird feeder. Thank I remember the last two we had that no birds visited. Ah well.

Frank Baron said...

I've got a gang of resident sparrows and they're fun to watch (and occasionally almost deafening to listen to).

I don't get a lot of white-throated ones though. They certainly add a nice splash of colour.

I hope 2011 is chockful of fine bird photos for you.

Linda said...

Like Pauline.... I have never seen the Canadian sparrow with the yellow eye make up. He is quite stunning! I will look more closely for him. I love feeding the birds. It's nice when they come to visit and their calls are friendly.
The comment section of my blog is having technical difficulties. I only got to respond to Steven's comment. I will keep trying though. Thanks for visiting. =D

Dave King said...

What a delightful bird - done full justice to by tat superb final photograph.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

It's done: I've issued an order that should, if I checked all the boxes appropriately, guarantee warm and clement weather for you all through February. (Disclaimer: Results may vary.) ;^)

Friko said...

Our sparrows are just lbjs = little brown jobs, without any bright colour, not like this little chap here.

Tabor, I can't get through to your other blog again and have left a message at sec........

deb said...

I used to assume a sparrow was a sparrow as well.
I'm all eyes now , watching , checking.

These are great photos as always, Tabor.
I'll be checking again tomorrow.

tattytiara said...

What a pretty little bird! You did so well getting these shots.

Deborah Carr said...

This special little singer is one of my favourites. They make my heart glad. I've never seen them here in winter, though...

Kerri said...

Tabor, your photos are lovely! I keep waiting for a 'white throat' to stop by but none have appeared as yet. We had one that came regularly for a few weeks last winter and I loved seeing him, but alas, they are not common at our feeders.
We were excited yesterday though to see a group of 5 common redpolls. They are a pretty rare sighting here as well....anything but common :)
Happy New Year to you and your hubby!