Vesper Sparrows in Queens

10,000 Birds

Every autumn I spend an inordinate amount of time examining the edges of fields, scrubby stands of brush, and everywhere else that little brown jobs, otherwise known as sparrows, might appear. Song Sparrows , White-throated Sparrows , Swamp Sparrows , Dark-eyed Juncos , Savannah Sparrows , and Chipping Sparrows are the most frequent birds to cross my field of view but White-crowned Sparrows , Field Sparrows , Lincoln’s Sparrows , and Fox Sparrows aren’t uncommon.

Peterson Reference Guide to Sparrows of North America: A Review by a Sparrow Fan

10,000 Birds

I like sparrows. I like observing them, reading about them, grappling with species and subspecies identification, and even—on a good day—talking about sparrow taxonomy. So, I was very excited when I heard that Rick Wright was writing a book about sparrows, the first treatment of North American sparrows since 2001, possibly the first book about sparrows of North America, depending on your definition of that geographic area. Reviews book review reference sparrow

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A Preening Savannah Sparrow

10,000 Birds

This morning – 26 October 2013 – at Jacob Riis Park in coastal Queens, New York, I was very pleased to see hordes of sparrows in every bit of brush, long grass, and anywhere else that you could fit a sparrow. Overnight, northwest winds had been blowing which made for perfect migratory conditions and the number of sparrows around showed that the birds had taken advantage of them. … Birds Bird Behavior Jacob Riis Park Preening Savannah Sparrow sparrows

Harris’s Sparrow, Eh?

10,000 Birds

So, let’s talk more about the Harris’s Sparrow. This big, chunky sparrow is one of Canada’s few endemic breeders (Wikipedia says the only one, but I trust Cornell more.) It is the largest of the Zonotrichia sparrows, with little cousins including the White-throated, White-crowned , and Golden-crowned Sparrows that already occupy my life list, and the Rufous-collared Sparrow down in Mexico and points south.

Ground-Sparrows and Brush-Finches

10,000 Birds

Common birds, you see, tend to have simple names, like House Sparrow, House Finch, or House Wren. A hyphen in a bird’s “first” name can occur pretty much anywhere, which is why the United States has a good supply of birds like White-crowned Sparrows and Yellow-rumped Warblers. Ground-Sparrows may or may not share a genus with the brownish Towhees of the southwestern United States. Ground-Sparrows have faces that border on the clownish.

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An Odd Chipping Sparrow

10,000 Birds

The year-round residents were all in attendance and I was pleased that both an Eastern Towhee and Chipping Sparrows were enjoying the spilled seed on the ground. It’s also not unusual for a Chipping Sparrow to look a little bit different (or at least they are variable enough in fall to keep birders – or at least me – on our toes). But a red-cheeked Chipping Sparrow is something that I had never heard of before. Birds Chipping Sparrow Forest Park sparrows

The Hidden Qualities of House Sparrows

10,000 Birds

I therefore decided to counter this month’s heinous wood-warbler attack on my retina by choosing the good old trusty House Sparrow as the topic of my May post. The House Sparrow exemplifies all we love about birds and birding: It is insanely attractive as it exhibits a cunning combination of browns and greys, reminding us of a beautiful bark pattern. A fine male Italian Sparrow at the overwhelmingly expensive cafe of Florence’s Uffizi.

Review: Sparrow by Kim Todd

10,000 Birds

First he thought it was a book of poetry, but when I said no, he proceeded with a long story about the red sparrows ( House Finches ) at his new feeder. Reviews book review books House Sparrows sparrowsIt’s a sign, I think, when I receive a book to review and realize I just bought the same book, on my own recognizance, for my own pleasure.

New York City Park Department Contractor Tears Up Imperiled Sparrows Home

10,000 Birds

A New York City Parks Department contractor just wiped out a breeding population of sparrows in tons of trouble already, on land owned by the parks department that was supposed to be protected as “Forever Wild.” It looks to me like they drove a crane straight through this section of what’s called Four Sparrow Marsh. What makes it particularly egregious in this case is that the scar you can see in the video goes straight through what was a breeding habitat for Saltmarsh Sparrows.

A Chipping Sparrow Impersonating a Clay-colored Sparrow

10,000 Birds

Sorting through flocks of fall sparrows is fun and can be rewarding. You never know what might be hiding amid the hordes of White-throated Sparrows , Dark-eyed Juncos , and Song Sparrows. An important skill for a birder seeking rare sparrows is to know the common sparrows very well to avoid being fooled. Sadly, a couple of weeks ago, I was fooled pretty well by a common sparrow. Mostly, I was dealing with Chipping Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos.

Field Sparrow and Prey

10,000 Birds

Birds Bugs Central Park Field Sparrow sparrowsI have never in my life been more glad not to be a bug. … If you liked this post and want to see more great images of birds make sure to check out 10,000 Clicks , our big (and growing) page of galleries here at 10,000 Birds. … This post originally ran on 12 April 2008 but an image this fun can’t be left to rot in the archives ! ……… a.

Vesper Sparrow Pooecetes gramineus

10,000 Birds

Any day of birding in New York State that includes a sighting of a Vesper Sparrow is a better-then-average day. Between the two breeding bird atlases in the state – one done in the early ’80s and one in the early ’00s – the number of atlas blocks with Vesper Sparrows declined 49%, a decline that is echoed in breeding bird survey routes as well. The precipitous plunge of Vesper Sparrow populations has been largely because of changing land use practices.

Fledgling House Sparrow Getting Fed

10,000 Birds

A couple of weeks ago I watched and photographed a young House Sparrow getting fed by its mother. I also watched, but failed to get pictures of, the same young bird being fed by two different male House Sparrows. These particular birds were in Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan, but the same story is taking place all over the world right now, as few species have successfully adapted to as many locations as the House Sparrow.

World Sparrow Day 2011

10,000 Birds

home about advertise archives birds conservation contact galleries links reviews subscribe Browse: Home / Asides / World Sparrow Day 2011 World Sparrow Day 2011 By Corey • March 19, 2011 • 3 comments Tweet Share Though it may seem insane to American readers, as well as to any other people who view the House Sparrow as an invasive pest, in its home range Passer domesticus is on the wane.

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Italian Sparrow?

10,000 Birds

“By examining the genetics, we have shown conclusively that the Italian sparrow is of mixed origin – it is a hybrid of the house sparrow and the Spanish sparrow,&# Dr Saetre told BBC Nature. “Second, and perhaps equally important – it is not reproducing with the Spanish sparrow, even though the two birds live side-by-side.&# Really? This is odd and I can’t remember ever having heard of such a thing before.

Sparrows Coming and Going

10,000 Birds

Sparrows, on the other hand, seem to make the most of the lamb-like weather left over from the end of March and make their move northward while wistful, wood-warbler-wishing birders have seen few of their quarry. In the New York City area the number and variety of sparrows a birder can see in mid-April is astounding. Well, keep reading and I’ll let you know… Swamp Sparrow The Swamp Sparrow above is one of the species that has moved into the area over the last week or so.

The First Ever Diabolical Sparrow Quiz!

10,000 Birds

It involves sparrows. Just sparrows. The winner will achieve eternal fame as the best sparrow-identifier out there and everyone else will get kudos for having the guts to guess. Diabolical Sparrow Quiz Photo 1. Diabolical Sparrow Quiz Photo 2. Diabolical Sparrow Quiz Photo 3. competitions diabolical ID Quiz sparrows

Review of Watching Sparrows

10,000 Birds

I never would have thought that a film that focused entirely on North American sparrows could be so delightful. But the new second edition of Watching Sparrows * by Michael Male and Judy Fieth, who have a whole series of bird films already produced or in production , not only kept me staring at the screen but drew in family members to see what I was watching, to say nothing of my cats, who were enthralled by the sparrows singing on screen. Reviews sparrows video

2017 starts off with Black-throated Sparrows

10,000 Birds

This was a real bonus spot last year, especially with migratory sparrows. The biggest surprise this year was the large number of Black-throated Sparrows. I got excited every time I would see nice flock of sparrows, in hopes that it would be the Lark, Vesper, Savannah, Clay-colored or Grasshopper Sparrows of last year. Almost every time, for five straight days it turned out to be these beautiful little Black-Throated Sparrows.

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The Predominately Western, Golden-crowned Sparrow

10,000 Birds

At first glance you might not recognize this bird as a Golden-crowned Sparrow ( Zonotrichia atricapilla ). The entire Golden-crowned Sparrow population migrates within North America between winter and summer ranges… arriving in California in September and October, often foraging with White-crowned Sparrows. This adult Golden-crowned Sparrow is more easily identified in its winter plumage. Birds Golden-crowned Sparrow sparrows West Coast

Le Conte’s Sparrow at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn

10,000 Birds

Heydi Lopes is one of those Brooklyn birders and she was working the turf on the last day of November when she deservedly found a Le Conte’s Sparrow , the second she had found there in the last several years. Le Conte’s Sparrow are a good bird in New York and seeing as I had only ever seen one before I wanted to see this one. Still though, Le Conte’s Sparrow ! And barely a week after a Henslow’s Sparrow !

Harris’s Sparrow in Loudonville, New York

10,000 Birds

When I heard back on 12 November that a Harris’s Sparrow was frequenting a feeder in Loudonville, New York, up where I learned to be a birder, in Albany County, I really wanted to go on the twitch. En route, we discussed the brouhaha that the sparrow had caused. Rich also warned me that the sparrow generally stayed in the cover of some shrubbery and rarely allowed the kind of looks that someone trying to see a life bird (me) would want. This is one classy sparrow!

Sparrow Seeking Cookie

10,000 Birds

The City Birder, Rob Jett, was recently assaulted repeatedly by a thuggish House Sparrow that wanted his cookie. Oh, the humanity! Asides

Henslow’s Sparrow at Jacob Riis Park, Queens, New York

10,000 Birds

He was with some other birders at Jacob Riis Park, out on the barrier beaches of Queens, and they were looking at a Henslow’s Sparrow that Patricia Lindsay had found. She asked if I wanted to go see the sparrow. ” Then, wonder of wonders, Daisy shared with me the idea that Desi could have just as much fun with his car out on the barrier beaches while I sought out my sparrow. Trips Henslow''s Sparrow Jacob Riis Park Queens rarities sparrows Twitching

Spring Sparrows are Way Cooler than Spring Warblers

10,000 Birds

Like the fine, fine sparrows. Clearly, and as someone who has spent two springs birding around the Great Lakes, I can assure you that you were right all along when you had that subtle, subconscious feeling that spring warblers really weren’t that great after all and that even in spring, sparrows reign supreme. Sparrows, on the other hand, have amazing patterns of stripes and scales, of spots at funny places and subtle colour changes. Not so with sparrows.

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Eurasian Tree Sparrows from long ago

10,000 Birds

Since it’s really hard to type in a splint, here is a blast from the past: specifically from the beginning of this long, strange trip, my cross-country journey from New York to Montana: I have to confess, I had forgotten all about the Eurasian Tree Sparrow. I remember reading in the Peterson guide as a child about this smaller, less pushy cousin of the ubiquitous House Sparrow. I wasn’t thinking about the Eurasian Tree Sparrow at all, though.

Savannah Sparrows on Breeding Territory

10,000 Birds

Savannah Sparrows have been very kind to me over the last couple of years, whether at Brigantine , Breezy Point , or Lake Perris. My recent outing with Seth and Mary when we found probable breeding Bobolinks in Queens was no exception, with a couple of pairs of very confiding Savannah Sparrows singing, foraging, and generally posing for the digiscoping rig. Birds digiscoping sparrows

Black-throated Sparrow at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

10,000 Birds

One element of Red Rock Canyon that I probably don’t need to see much better is the Black-throated Sparrow. … For comparison purposes, here is a shot of a Black-chinned Sparrow, another desert sparrow found at Red Rock Canyon. … I hope you liked these shots of Black-throated Sparrows. ……… Birds Black-throated Sparrow Nevada Red Rock Canyon sparrows

Lark Sparrows Foraging at Lema Ranch

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Lark Sparrow ( Chondestes grammacus ) photos by Larry Jordan Nearly two years ago I wrote my second post as the West Coast Beat Writer on Lema Ranch, a Northern California birding hot spot. The Lark Sparrow’s distinctive alternating chestnut, black, and white facial pattern make this probably the easiest sparrow to identify in the field. Birds Lark Sparrow sparrows West Coast

Ho-Hum, Another Lark Sparrow at Robert Moses State Park

10,000 Birds

A couple of days ago Ken Fuestel, a stalwart downstate New York birder, found a Lark Sparrow at Robert Moses State Park. This is not a terribly unexpected happening as Lark Sparrows are more than annual in fall migration in New York and they are usually found along the coast, which Robert Moses State Park, situated on a barrier island in Suffolk County, certainly is. … Trips Lark Sparrow Robert Moses State Park Suffolk County Twitching

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Introduction to Winter Sparrows of South Florida

10,000 Birds

The southeast tip of the Florida peninsula is not well endowed with a wide variety of sparrows in winter like the rest of the southeastern United States. Almost any park, even within large cities such as New Orleans and Atlanta, will host such quintessentially common Nearctic species such as Field , Song , Chipping , and White-throated Sparrow in good numbers. The three most common species by far are Savannah Sparrow , Grasshopper Sparrow , and Swamp Sparrow.

A Lark Sparrow at Robert Moses State Park

10,000 Birds

Finally, we surrendered to the inevitable and continued east to Robert Moses State Park to try to track down the already-reported Clay-colored Sparrow and Blue Grosbeak at Field 2 and the Lark Sparrow out by the lighthouse. Of the first two we only managed to catch brief glimpses of the latter bird, the Blue Grosbeak , before it and the small flock it was traveling with, which presumably contained the Clay-colored Sparrow , headed deep into the dunes.

Hark, a Lark (Sparrow)! Make That Two!

10,000 Birds

If the birding there over the last several days is any indication it would seem that the restoration has been a success, with regional rarities and hard-to-find birds like Black-billed Cuckoo , Blue Grosbeak , Connecticut Warbler , Clay-colored Sparrow , Mourning Warbler , and Lark Sparrow all being spotted to say nothing of good migrants like Yellow-billed Cuckoos , Indigo Buntings , Eastern Wood-Pewees , Nashville Warblers , and a host of others. Two Lark Sparrows in Queens.

Seaside Sparrows Feeding Young at Cape May National Wildlife Refuge, Two Mile Unit

10,000 Birds

Well, not just at a salt marsh but at the Seaside Sparrows that make their living there, at least in the warmer months. In particular, I was watching a pair of sparrows that were diligently hunting down a variety of invertebrates and taking turns disappearing into an especially thick clump of marsh grass where I presume they were feeding some seriously hungry nestlings. It’s not often that you get a chance to watch a pair of Seaside Sparrows so closely and for so long.

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Le Conte’s Sparrow at Edgemere Landfill, Queens

10,000 Birds

Then, while walking along a phragmite-lined ditch, a small sparrow flushed, flew a few feet, and dropped back down. I immediately knew it wasn’t one of the usual Savannah Sparrows that populate the old landfill. A short spish convinced the bird to pop up and the orange face immediately had me thinking Saltmarsh Sparrow or Nelson’s Sparrow. Did I have a Le Conte’s Sparrow ? Walk along the ditch and look for the sparrow.

Female Sparrows Like the Locals

10,000 Birds

A new study reports that female Rufous-collared Sparrows prefer males who sing the local dialect of their song. Captured females were four times more likely to respond with a mating display to a recording of a local song than of playback of a song recorded just fifteen miles away from their home territory. Asides

The origins of tanagers, warblers, and sparrows are coming into focus

10,000 Birds

A new paper out this month attempts to paint the most comprehensive picture yet of the origins and diversification of the American sparrows, wood-warblers, blackbirds, cardinals, tanagers, and their kin, an enormous group of birds more than 800 species strong. We now know a lot more about who is a tanager vs. a sparrow vs. a cardinal. The wood-warblers are coming into focus , and the sparrows are getting their own family.

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Great Egret Eating a Seaside Sparrow

10,000 Birds

Don’t click through to The Freiday Bird Blog if you want to avoid seeing the grisly end of a Seaside Sparrow. Instead, look at the cute baby owl from last spring. Hat-tip to Donna S. Asides

What’s better? Kirtland’s Warbler or Lark Sparrow?

10,000 Birds

so, while everyone else in the world was hanging out with the Kirtland’s Warbler ( Setophaga kirtlandii ) on the beach at Magee Marsh last week, I was off on a Biggest Week tour through the beautiful Oak Openings Metropark Preserve looking for Lark Sparrows, Blue Grosbeak, Red-headed Woodpecker and other great local birds. Just so that you believe me that we actually did see Lark Sparrow in Ohio, here are some very poor photos: bad photos of a good bird.

Some People Don’t Like House Sparrows…

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…but others see them as birds and worthy of photographing. Good decision, no? Asides

World Sparrow Day 2013

10,000 Birds

North Americans may find this hard to believe, but the House Sparrow ( Passer domesticus ) is beloved around the world yet slowly declining throughout the Old World. The annual observance of World Sparrow Day reminds us of the impact our changing world has on even the most common species as well as how much we miss the birds we take for granted when they are gone. Most of us in the United States are unwitting Sparrow Heroes , providing water, food, and nesting sites.

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Farewell to 2020 – Marin Brewing Company: Albion Amber Ale

10,000 Birds

My lifer Golden-crowned Sparrow at the Lombard Street Reservoir in San Francisco, just around the corner from the most famous crooked street in the world. As uncertain as the future may be, I’m sure we’re all ready to bid farewell to the year 2020.

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Æppeltreow Winery & Cidery: Sparrow Spiced Cider

10,000 Birds

There’s no doubt that the ancestry of Æppeltreow’s Sparrow Spiced Cider can be traced to the mulled drinks of the Middle Ages, but the identity of the bird on the label is more uncertain. Cinnamon bird: A female Russet Sparrow (Passer cinnamomeus).

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