Monday, December 26, 2011

American Tree Sparrow

While traipsing through the winter-browned Sandusky Plains prairies today, I crossed the path of some American Tree Sparrows, Spizella arborea. Lucky me, and I had my camera in tow. These jaunty little sparrows rank high among my favorite birds, and I settled in to watch the little flocks as they worked over the seeds of goldenrod, switch grass and other ripenings.

I'm usually first alerted to foraging tree sparrows by their thin wispy tseet notes - contact calls by which they talk to each other. Sooner or later, the flock will take wing, blowing low over the ochre prairie like delicate little leaves on the wind. Their sweetly musical flight notes sound like tiny icicles shattering. The tree sparrow and its subtle melodies mesh perfectly with the barren prairies of winter.

Should you have an interest, I wrote in more detail about American Tree Sparrows HERE.

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4 comments:

Elaine said...

This post read like poetry. Thank you.

Jim McCormac said...

Thanks, Elaine - glad you enjoyed it!

Kelly said...

...these are some of my favorite birds too! Our little flock hasn't shown up at our feeders yet this year. I'm watching for them...

Heather said...

I don't see enough of these little guys! Even when winter gets really mean come February or so, they hardly make it to our feeders. Nice photos.