Monday, November 06, 2006

American Tree Sparrows

These little northern sparrows, American Tree Sparrows, arrived at our feeders last week. Tree Sparrows breed from Alaska to northern Labrador and then migrate to more southern areas to winter. I wait for them to return every year around this time and they have become a seasonal marker for me; bringing with them the expectation that snow and cold weather, which heralds the beginnings of winter, will soon follow. The little dark spot in the center of their breasts easily separates them from other sparrows. Another identifying feature is their yellow lower mandible, the lower part of their bills.

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