Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Two Field Sparrows in Big Blue's side yard...

I had a little extra time today, so I headed over to the heronry. All the nests were occupied with little heron heads peeping over the tops, but what caught my eye was a tiny peep and movement in the huge brush pile in the field over by a small pond. I’ve been hoping to see a Field Sparrow, because…I haven’t seen one yet!! I know it’s a common bird, and everyone’s seen one, but not me, so my heart leapt when I saw the pinkish-orange beak and legs through the lens of my camera. Finally!! A Field Sparrow, and I couldn’t have stumbled upon a more obliging couple. These two little cuties were very brave and let me get surprisingly close. I did the old “stand still like a tree and maybe they won’t notice me thing,” and slowly, I was able to approach the brush pile to get some nice shots.


I can see why these little birds hang out in the grass and brush and low bushes. They blend right in like they are wearing the latest in camouflage.




In the sun, their little beaks seemed to glow pink-orange, and I knew they were Field Sparrows before I looked through the lens. This couple stayed together foraging in the grass and in and out of the twigs in the brush pile. They would peep every now and then, but did not do any singing.




Sometimes one would tug at nesting material and pick it up, but I couldn’t find where they were taking it. I stayed and watched for a long time. They were very sweet. Funny thing, they seemed to like the little electronic sound the camera would make as it focused. It’s a very tiny peep sound, right before the click. When I got home and read about them in my bird guides, I found out that they are known for being tame and curious and respond to squeaking and pishing by birders! So that explains why they stuck around listening to the camera squeak.

Looks like a little nesting preparation is going on!

14 comments:

Kallen305 said...

So cute!!! I saw my first field sparrow for the first time just last week. I love the picture you took of it w/ its wing span.

Steve B said...

Nice shots!

Little Brown Job said...

Beautiful little bird, great shots.

Roy said...

They may be common, but they are a very colourful bird all the same Kelly.

Jayne said...

Those are such wonderful shots Kelly. I have not seen one yet either, so I'd have been excited too.

Shellmo said...

Oh I just love that last one w/ that big twig in his mouth! Adorable!!

Mary said...

What a cute little sparrow! I've only seen one of those and so hard to get a photo. You got excellent shots!

Heather said...

I haven't seen any Field Sparrows yet this year either. How cute they are. Love the next to last shot where it's tail is all fanned out. Interesting that they were attracted to your camera's sounds. BTW, have the White-throats come back to your yard? I've finally started hearing ours sing in the morning, and I saw quite a few feeding on the ground under our deck last night. Should I tell a few of them to fly west to your yard?!

Kelly said...

Kallen...thank you. I used to be a forest birder, so I didn't get to see many country birds!

Steve, Paul, Roy, and Jayne...than you!!!

Shelley...It was cute watching him tug at the little pieces and try to carrying them off.

Mary...thank you!

Heather....yes, please send me your extras. We have had none return, and I haven't heard their song anywhere in our neighborhood. :-(

Ginnymo said...

Beautiful photos Kelly!! I have lots of sparrows around but really don't know what kind. I like watching them as well as all the others. I wish I could keep my little feeder stuck to my window but the darn squirrels always jump up and knock it down. So the little birds have to eat off the ground.

Warren Baker said...

I still find it astonishing, that birds can build such intricate nests, with only their beak!

Uncommon Depth said...

They are very sweet. I've never heard of a field sparrow before. Could I ask what you use for a lens (focal length)?

Laure Ferlita said...

Congrats on the siting, Kelly! All the shots are great! I love the second and third shots - they're almost like camouflage art!!

Kelly said...

Ginny...that's not entirely bad, because some birds will only eat off the ground. They don't like to fly up to the feeders, so it's a good trade-off!

Warren...I know what you mean. They weave these complex nests using just their beaks and sticks! Amazing...

Uncommon...yes. I don't have a super powerful lens. I have a 70-200mm but it does have Vibration Reduction, which helps keep the photos sharp so I can crop them down. I also use a 2x teleconverter, which boosts the 200mm to 400mm.

Laure...thanks! When I saw the photos I was amazed at how well he blended in.