Wednesday, August 25, 2010

White-crowned Sparrow (#9)

White-crowned Sparrow singing its familiar song along a bike path in Silverthorne, CO; 7-6-10.
I first observed a White-crowned Sparrow in 2009, while hiking in Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah, in June, and then again in December, in Arizona. Both times the birds were foraging on the ground in a dry brushy habitat. I thought I was lucky to spot these birds as they are not very common in Illinois. However, Sibley’s Guide to North American Birds does list them as spending winters in Illinois. I have not noticed them in our area, but this past summer while spending time in Colorado, White-crowned Sparrows were all over the place: in trees along bike trails (Above, 7-6-10) in town, out in open fields, and even around alpine lakes in the higher altitudes. I had many photo ops with this bird and learned to recognize their song as I heard them singing continuously during the week I was in Colorado. Their orange beak was a great contrast to their black and white crown colors (Below, 7-6-10).

The bright orange beak is an identifiable trait of the White-crowned Sparrow; Summit County, CO; 7-6-10.

1 comment:

~Val said...

The bright eye and very cute expression on the second one is adorable!