Friday, June 24, 2011

Swamp Sparrow; May Bird Migration to Northern Illinois

Swamp Sparrow, Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve; 5/1/2011
Another Summer Sparrow that returned to northern Illinois on May 1 was the Swamp Sparrow (Above). I almost mistook this sparrow as a Chipping Sparrow... (see my  6/12 post: ) ... both with a rufous crown and black eyeline. But the Swamp Sparrow has a more gray head, whereas the Chipping Sparrow has a very white eyebrow above the eyeline.

Swamp Sparrow, Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve; 5/1/2011
Swamp Sparrows aren't as common as the Chippers, so I was happy to see a couple of them foraging on the ground in Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve. Northen Illinois is on the southern edges of Swampy's summer range. They are more common from Wisconsin and Michican northward into most of Canada save for British Columbia, and the Yukon. As you can see in the photo (Above), Swampies have a clean gray breast and belly, lighter malar with a black line separating the gray cheek with the lighter malar, and a black eyeline behind the eye.  as I stated above, it has a rufous crown, tail and wings which are contrasted with black stripes.

1 comment:

Chesney said...

That is one I have never seen....Love that punk rock color of his crown...great colors in this bird!