Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The juncos are back, and.....

All of a sudden last Thursday I was seeing juncos all over the place. They're nice little birds, although they remind me too much of the approaching winter. Ugh.

I saw a bunch of them right outside my sewing room window, and they were accompanied by several different kinds of unusual-looking (to me, at least) sparrows, so I ran upstairs for the camera, hoping they'd still be there when I got back. I was in luck!

Below is another junco, a Harris's Sparrow next (note the pink beak), and a Chipping Sparrow in the background.

I had a little trouble figuring out this next one. I looked at a number of different pictures online.

Then as I noticed the side of his face in this next photo, it became clear that he was a Fox Sparrow. (Scroll down the page on that link for a better photo match.) Note the two-toned beak... gray on top and yellow on the bottom.

My bird book says the fox sparrow "scratches in the leaf-litter with both feet at once." I wish I had known that at the time so I could've watched for it. I was too busy trying to get good pics, though. It was hard to take pics when they kept hopping all around!

There was one more variety of sparrow amongst the group. His white throat fascinated me. I didn't even notice the yellow coloring in front of his eye until I was seeing my photos on the computer. It turns out that he is... get this cool name... a White-throated Sparrow! Ha!  (Scroll down on that page for a better match, too.)

(Click on any photo to enlarge it.)

It was fun seeing such a variety of birds in one group. The juncos will stay for the winter, but I think these particular sparrows will continue on farther south.

I loved being able to get such close-up photos. And I loved researching and learning about types of sparrows I hadn't even known existed. I almost had to email Dale for his help, but I think I figured them all out. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, though!


Anonymous said...

Oh yeah,

I know that the sparrows can be a challenge in identification.
But, it is fun to do.


Grandma G said...

Fun, indeed!