Often the first bird species at our feeders these cold, wintery mornings is a Song Sparrow. although both the Song Sparrow and Tree Sparrows have a dark central breast spot I quickly check to see if I am looking at a Song or Tree Sparrow. I often adopt silly phrases when identifying birds and I think of a Song Sparrow as having a watermelon striped breast, notice those dark, rounded, curvy lines on its breast? They are quite noticeable to me and that is the characteristic I quicklylook for when deciding on which sparrow it is.( Have I got you confused? Not to worry, as I said I adopt silly phrases to help me identify each bird as it arrives.Its a morning condition which is alleviated with several cups of coffee) Also, the Song Sparrow is often perched at our white house bird feeder early in the morning and I know who it is perched there early each morning... Tree Sparrows are more often ground feeders rather than feeder feeders!
We have two Song Sparrows overwintering around Bird Alley this winter.. They are cheerful sightings which I look for and rely upon each day. In the picture below a Song Sparrow is perched on the top of our pergola, with red American Bittersweet berries in the background. These berries are very attractive and striking in their colour. They began as yellow berries in the fall and as winter approached their yellow skins peeled off and their showy inner red coverings prevailed. I am hoping that some day these beautiful red berries will attract Waxwings or Grosbeaks, Hopefully a Pine Grosbeak will show up some day to feed upon them.
See the beautiful dark streaks on this sparrows breast?!
Time for another coffee and then when daylight appears, hopefully my Song Sparrows will also. Happy bird feeding and bird watching today everyone!!
This morning, right on schedule, the Song Sparrow is back feeding at the white house feeder!