Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Field Sparrow and Chipping Sparrow

We had a couple of very surprising sparrow visitors yesterday in Bird Alley: a Field Sparrow and a Chipping Sparrow. We have Chipping Sparrows often during the summer and early fall, but I don't think I have ever seen them here this late before. They usually seem to change places with Tree Sparrows around the end of October or early Novem -ber. These two sparrows seemed to be travel -ing with each other and they were seen feeding together often during the day. We woke to snow on the ground this morning and I have not seen sight of them yet today so hopefully they are on their way further south to areas lacking the white stuff.
Its always a surprise to see a Field Sparrow for although we have seen this species before at our feeders and it is seen yearly in our province it is classified as a 'rare, but annual' visitor by the New Brunswick Bird Records Committee. The visual differences between the Field Sparrow and the Chipping Sparrow can easily be seen. By comparing these species the difference in colouring is evident. As well it can be noted that the Field Sparrow lacks a supercilium, the dark line extending from both sides of the eye that is very noticeable on the profile view of the Chipping Sparrow. The white eye ring of the Field Sparrow is also quite a prominent feature.


editing note 1:15 p.m:
They showed up just before noon, and as seen in the photo below, still here today, still together.

7 comments:

Deborah Godin said...

Just goes to show, no plain brown birds are really all that plain! Great close-ups!

Mary said...

I always love your surprise visitors! That Field Sparrow looks so young and cute...sort of soft. I forgot on my sparrow list today that I do have one poor photo of the Field Sparrow that I took a couple months ago...a life bird for me at the time! I would love to see them more often. I find the Chipping Sparrow and the American Tree Sparrow confusing. Sparrows are hard to ID if you don't have a lot of time to study them and good photos to look at! And then there all the non-descript females..groan.

bobbie said...

Really nice pictures. They are cute little guys. Maybe they are the rebels of their flocks who like cold weather.

A Portland Backyard said...

What great photos! We get a visit about once a year from the Chipping Sparrow but we have yet to see a Field Sparrow. Thanks for sharing!

gina said...

what a pretty lil fellow that field sparrow is! i see the chipping sparrow around here.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I enjoyed your pictures.Nice to see both birds together in order to see the differences.I might add that as late as Sunday,Nov.9,we had a Chipping Sparrow at our feeders.Hope he comes back for the winter bird list.
Blessings,Ruth

NW Nature Nut said...

What a couple of pretty little brown birds. Their rusty colors are gorgeous.