Sunday, August 27, 2006

Chipping Sparrows (Spizzella passerina)

All of the many sparrows at our feeders this time of year confuse me! They are at so many different stages and ages that if I do not actually see an adult bird feeding a fledging I often cannot identify the bird. I have a tendency at first to think they are all Song Sparrows until I see a bit of yellow at their lores and then I am thinking Savannah or White-throated Sparrow. It there seems to be a lot of creamy coloured beige at their malars, then I am starting to think Lincoln Sparrow.

Looking at the photo to the upper right might give you an idea of what I mean. Without seeing the adult feeding this bird I would have been at a loss to identify it as a young
Chipping Sparrow.

Chipping Sparrows are probably the most resident of summer birds at our feeders, yet I had never really identified its young before until taking these pictures this week.

Below is a handsome adult Chipping Sparrow at our feeder area in May, '06.

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