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April 2, 2011 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Song Sparrow

North America is home to about three dozen species of sparrows. The Song Sparrow, one of the more common, is found all across the US and most of Canada. It is a medium size bird with reddish-brown streaky colors. There is quite a bit of variation in color by region with the pacific northwest birds darker and browner overall than eastern form. The southern and desert birds have paler plumages.

Song Sparrow

I usually see Song Sparrows when I go on walks in the woods or nature habitats. They like to flit around in the brush or dense vegetation. True to their name, males can often be heard singing.

Occasionally one will stop by the feeder in my yard for a quick meal. I noticed this little guy kicking around in the wood chips. Then he moved under the feeder and I was able to get a few nice pictures of him.

Song Sparrow

In this view you can clearly see the spot in the middle of the breast and the dark, thick streaks which is a characteristic of the eastern form of Song Sparrow. That is a seed in his beak. In the picture above, you can see his tongue flicking up. Yes, birds have tongues!

Saturday Snapshots is hosted by Alyce. Head on over to At Home With Books to see more great photos or add your own.



Leave a Comment
  1. Diane@BibliophileBytheSea / Apr 2 2011 7:22 am

    We have lots of these around and I do love them all 🙂 Nice photo Leslie


  2. Kate / Apr 2 2011 7:58 am

    I don’t usually comment on your weekend birding posts – but know that I enjoy them! We recently got a bird feeder and it’s been fun to see all the different birds that are discovering it! My husband is really into it – which I find adorable. …also my cats think they’ve died and gone to heaven. I think for them it’s like watching TV. They’re glued to the window.


    • Leslie / Apr 2 2011 1:03 pm

      If your husband is into watching the feeders he might be interested in Project Feederwatch a citizen science program where us ordinary folks report what birds we see in our yards. It ends next week for this season but starts up again in November. I’m sure the birds will keep your keep your kitties entertained for hours.


  3. BermudaOnion / Apr 2 2011 8:04 am

    I love your bird pictures. There are some geese that seem to be nesting in the common area next to our house. I was out with my dog the other day, and thought about you, and wished I had a way to get a picture of them.


    • Leslie / Apr 2 2011 1:05 pm

      Glad you’re enjoying the pictures. I’m going to do a post on photographing birds in the near future.


  4. Alyce / Apr 2 2011 10:23 am

    I am amazed at the variety of wildlife around your house. It makes me think I need to pay more attention (either that or get a bird feeder).


    • Leslie / Apr 2 2011 1:06 pm

      The bird feeder helps get them down from the trees! I never saw a woodpecker close up until I put out the suet.


  5. Trish / Apr 2 2011 10:36 am

    What a sweet little guy. Seeing birds up that close always reminds me how tiny and delicate they are.


    • Leslie / Apr 2 2011 1:07 pm

      Birds are such beautiful creatures I’m always amazed by them.


  6. irene / Apr 2 2011 11:01 am

    I didn’t know birds have tongues. Love your sparrow shots.


    • Leslie / Apr 2 2011 1:07 pm

      Yes, most of them do. You should see the long tongues on some of the woodpeckers!


  7. Irish / Apr 2 2011 11:16 am

    I love pictures of birds…they are such funny little creatures. Thanks for sharing these.


    • Leslie / Apr 2 2011 1:08 pm

      Thanks. Glad you are enjoying them.


  8. Col (Col Reads) / Apr 2 2011 11:44 am

    Fantastic shots — I have trouble telling some of our sparrows apart, although I know a few different ones come to our feeder.


    • Leslie / Apr 2 2011 1:10 pm

      It took me a while. I go on monthly bird walks with a group of very knowledgeable people who have been helpful in explaining how to tell the difference with a quick glance. And I have several bird guides with lots of pictures.


  9. kadybug / Apr 2 2011 4:20 pm

    Your second picture looks three dimensional. I would love to invest in a good camera some day to get some really good wildlife shots.


  10. Bev@My Reader's Block / Apr 2 2011 5:23 pm

    You and your bird pictures always make my weekend! Love this little brown, speckled fellow!

    Here’s my snapshot:



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