Feathers on Friday

If you would like to join me for my Feathers on Friday meme, please put the link to your blog post in the comments and I’ll add the link to my post.

Earlier this week, this beautiful White-throated Sparrow visited my feeders,


More Feathers on Friday Posts:

:: From Sheila at Wolf Song Blog: Friday’s Feathered Friend: ~ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

:: From Josiah at Birds in Your Backyard: Feathers on Friday

Don’t Overlook Sparrows!

Some more advanced birders overlook sparrows because they are just “Little Brown Jobs”. For novice birders, sparrows species can very tough to identify. And to others, sparrows don’t have the flashy plumage of warblers or complex songs of orioles. But sparrows are very beautiful birds if you really look at them and take the time to tell them apart.

Where I live, I’m lucky if I see more than five species of warblers a year, so I focus on sparrows instead.

I’ve seen Clay-colored Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows, Lincoln’s Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, Vespers Sparrows, a Harris’s Sparrow, Chipping Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Juncos visiting my feeders at one time or another, and Song Sparrows around our yard. Some of their songs are quite melodious and it’s really fun watch their antics, especially the Savannah Sparrows.

For those who would like some more help with sparrow identification, there’s a very good article by Marcel Gahbauer on telling sparrow species apart, at the Migration Research Foundation/McGill Bird Observatory website.

Chipping Sparrows are very distinct looking sparrow and their song is a long trill,


White-throated Sparrows have a beautiful song are very easy to identify and the mnemonic for their song is ” O Sweet Canada Canada Canada”,


Vesper Sparrows are one of the more nondescript sparrows, but their song is very lovely,


Dark-eyed Juncos are very pretty sparrows, and depending on where you live you might get different variations of juncos,


One of the first sparrows to arrive in the spring are the White-crowned Sparrows, they don’t stay for long as they are just migrating through. I think they look as if they are wearing bicycle helmets,


Don’t overlook sparrows because you might find something out of the ordinary! This Harris’s Sparrow stopped at my feeders last month and stayed for a couple of days. I was very excited to see him, because I had never seen a Harris’s Sparrow before and they are uncommon in my area,


A Sunday Bird Walk

I haven’t been able to go on long birding walks for quite some time because of busy days, late nights, farming, and trying to catch up on sleep on weekends, but I went on a two-hour walk early Sunday morning! Because our Spring got a late start, the shorebird migration has just beun and most of the resident passerines have arrived including the Baltimore Orioles, House Wrens, Common Yellowthroats, Yellow Warblers, and Least Flycatchers.

The view across the road, early Sunday morning,


A male Bufflehead (digiscoped),


On my walk I saw many Wilson’s Phalaropes; here is a female phalarope (digiscoped),


A White-throated Sparrow (digiscoped),


A Morel Mushroom,


I was playing hide and seek with this male Baltimore Oriole,


A female Common Goldeneye (digiscoped),


The American Goldfinches just started to arrive,


Chipping Sparrow,


The weather has been very warm here and the mosquitoes are very bad, which makes birding less fun than it could be. But it’s still great to get out and go birding. This coming week and next week I’m going to be busy with 4H beef club and getting my cattle ready for the show and sale, so I won’t be birding or posting much.

Bird Photo Quiz #7: Answers

Here are the answers to my Bird Photo Quiz #7

Picture #1 is a White-throated Sparrow

Picture #2 is a Yellow-rumped Warbler

Congratulations to Brendan at Catching the Thermals and David at Calgary Birder who both correctly identified the birds. Thanks for all playing along!

Fall Migration Hike

I spent Tuesday from 9 am to 1 pm at the local provincial park to look for Fall migrants.

I started along the river side of the park. The first birds I saw were Black-capped Chickadees, though after looking through the photos, I realized I hadn’t taken any photos of the chickadees. I saw a quite a lot of species, from Yellow-rumped Warblers to Turkey Vultures. I saw 18 species in total: four Pied-billed Grebes, eight Red-necked Grebes, one Double-crested Cormorant, five Mallards, two Gadwalls, 10 Buffleheads, three Turkey Vultures, one Northern Harrier, 15 Ring-billed Gulls, 23 Black Terns, one Belted Kingfisher, one Blue Jay, five American Crows, countless Black-capped Chickadees, three House Wrens, 17 Cedar Waxwings, 15 Yellow-rumped Warblers, and eight White-throated Sparrows.

Red-necked Grebe,

At first I thought this raptor was a hawk,

It was a Turkey Vulture,

One of the highlights of the trip, a Belted Kingfisher,

Non-breeding Black Tern,