Thursday, August 26, 2010

White-throated Sparrow (#10)

The striking White-throated Sparrow sitting on our front porch stoop one spring morning; 4-24-10.
In April, this Spring, I was surprised to see a White-throated Sparrow rummaging around the ground in our backyard. It stayed and fed at our feeders for about an hour and then must have moved on because I didn’t see it again. It is the only time I have ever seen one. It has very bright yellow lores, that stuck out against its white eyebrow and black eye-line and crown stripes. The yellow lores are what helped me identify it fairly quickly, otherwise I might have thought it to be a white-crowned Sparrow. Of course, the “white throat” was a good indicator as well – hence the name. The photo (Above, 4-24-10) was taken as it hopped up on our front porch in front of the window. (Bottom, 4-24-10) It moved to the backyard to feed on birdseed that other birds had kicked to the ground beneath our feeders. White-throated Sparrows do spend their winters in Illinois (its most northern winter grounds), so I hope to see more of them in the future. Maybe this one will remember where he got food and will return next spring as it migrates north to its breeding grounds in Northern Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, and throughout Canada. Or if I am lucky, spend part of the winter here.

A White-throated Sparrow with its very striking yellow lores, foraging on the ground for spilled feeder seed in our backyard; 4-24-10.

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