Saturday, May 14, 2011

Belated Postings - Yard Sparrows

I've been a little bit of a slacker with the blog - but it's not intentional. Where do I start? Took a few days to spend at a friend's cabin to band 22 species and 62 birds - then helped with a bird banding event (24 species - 90 birds!). But wanted to go back a few weeks and just show what an amazing bit of birding can be had - just in my backyard! Looks like having feeders up/out (and seed on the ground) in addition to some plantings taking shape has put me on the Migration Highway. I was almost out of my mind to have so many species of sparrows come visit. Here are just a few:

This first is arguably my fave sparrow of all - Harris! I have seen them in SD and NE only - never MN, and here it was - in my yard! What a fabulous meatball of a bird!

The next three are of a White-crowned Sparrow. They are a little toughie of a bird - bigger than the White-throated and kind of bruisers.

Ahhh - here are a couple of White-throated Sparrows. Note the color difference in the white stripes - the first is more classic, and the second is more beige. The second one is a Second Year for sure - the first would need to be held in the hand to tell for sure. Some individuals within a species will molt a little sooner than others.

This Chipping Sparrow is the smallest of the ones I have had come in. It will breed in the neighborhood, so I will be seeing it!

These last two pics were taken through a screen and a glass window so they are blurry - but they are of a Clay-colored Sparrow! Did I mention my backyard? These are birds that breed in prairies, so I was glad that a little thistle stop could help it out on its journey.

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