Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pictures from this Summer - Sparrows

I'm trying to catch up on posting the photos from all of the banding I did this spring and summer and I thought I'd do it a few photos at a time. This post will center on sparrows, those little brown birds that most people don't notice or even know exist.

The Song Sparrow is one of the most common sparrows in the area. It's call is a real harbinger of spring and they are just beautiful up close.

This summer saw me band more Savannah Sparrows than I ever have before (which was a grand total of - none). Thanks to having access to an open field north of Duluth for a couple of days I got to know this species pretty well. The subtle beauty of this birds is something to see.

A sparrow that I hear much more than I see is the Field Sparrow. The "ping pong ball" call is one of the easier calls for a new birder to learn. The overall plain coloration of the bird with that bright pink bill is an eye opener for lots of first time viewers.

Finally, a true sparrow of the grasslands in Minnesota. The Clay-colored Sparrow is surprisingly abundant in local areas. A soft, low buzzing call can be overlooked if you're not careful.

Lots of people I talk to are surprised to find out that Minnesota has 19 species of sparrow that can be found regularly in the state. However, these birds are under the pressure of loss of grassland habitat just like other species that are losing their habitat. Check out a local hay field or pasture and you might be amazed at what you find.