Sparrows and More Sparrows

Friday’s trip to Theler Wetlands provided a chance to photograph little birds, birds that more often than not fly off just as you finally get them in focus. My blog may seem to feature bigger birds or shorebirds, but that’s because they’re easier to photograph and I haven’t captured decent shots of the smaller birds.

Friday, though, flocks of sparrows were migrating and sitting around resting more than usual. I had some problems identifying them at first because many of them lacked the definitive eye streak that is much yellower in spring and summer.

We were greeted at the pond by a tree full of sparrows, most of which flew off as soon as a camera was pointed their way. However, this Savannah Sparrow was either too tired to fly off or felt safe as high as it was in the tree.

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The bridge leading across the creek was alive with birds landing and lifting off as we approached. I’m not entirely sure, but my best guess is that this is a juvenile Savannah Sparrow,

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and here’s an adult sitting on the blackberries in the middle of the field.

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Since this bird seemed to be migrating with a flock of Savannah Sparrows, I assumed it was one when I took the picture. Once I saw it on the computer screen it looks like a classic picture of a Chipping Sparrow (update: but John tells me it's a juvenile White-Crowned Sparrow, as indicated by the yellow beak) ,

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one of the first I’ve seen this side of the Cascades.

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