Sunday, February 7, 2010

An American Tree Sparrow in the Snow

A little American Tree Sparrow rested in a crabapple tree just outside our family room window Saturday morning. He seemed very pleased with the additional five inches of snow. After all, he is a bird from the far north and is well adapted to our cold winters. This spring he will pick up and head back home, flying over 2,000 miles to reach his breeding grounds in Manitoba, so we have to enjoy him while we can. He's our special part-time bird with a wintertime job of brightening our cold, grey days. The warm chocolate brown color that runs through his feathers and the cheerful, rusty cap on his head fit his happy self perfectly and help him do his job. I also love his two-toned bill and dark stickpin in the center of his chest. Last year our little winter flock numbered about 20. This year it seems a little higher...maybe 25+. Last winter the flock stuck to the feeders outside my kitchen window, but this winter they have ventured to the feeders in the front of the house outside my office window and to the feeders in the back outside the family room. Wherever I go, I can catch a glimpse of them, twittering and hopping around...







36 comments:

Anna said...

Kelly beautiful images. You know we have many of them hovering around supermarkets. I heard that lot of birds is starting to adapt to city life, because they can get the food and sometimes warm places. Excellent images again. Anna :)

Elaine said...

Wonderful shots! He is a sweet little bird, and he certainly posed nicely for you.

Roy said...

Lovely images Kelly.
He is quite similar to our Tree Sparrow, although judging by the completely different latin names they are not the same family.

Jayne said...

What a sweet little guy! I've never seen one, though he does look a good bit like the Chipping Sparrows here. Beautiful shots Kelly!

Kitty said...

He does have a happy little face! And he looks so cosy under all those fluffed up feathers.

Wanda said...

Kelly...You always have the most wonderful photos...these little birds are all over my back porch, at the moment!

Lynmiranda said...

Lovely images of your Tree Sparrow, a very pretty bird. It is surprising to find different variations of the Sparrow family.

Heather said...

Hee hee! He's so cute. I saw a total of 2 Tree Sparrows at our feeders this weekend.

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos of a little beauty Kelly, it is very much like our Tree Sparrow which used to be a common sight when I was a child but is rare in my area now.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Is there anything sweeter than a cute little bird in the snow? He's particularly fetching with his little rusty cap!

Montanagirl said...

Such nice photos of him! We have a sprinkling of them around our yard too. I also have had a Harris's Sparrow around all winter, which is unusual (I think).

JKoenig said...

So Sweet! Great pictures!

Roy said...

Excellent shots, Kelly! I can't ever get most Sparrows, much less Tree Sparrows, to sit still enough for a good portrait, and Ballard Park is full of them and White-throateds in the Winter. Ah well, some day...

We have some snow heading our way Wednesday. Looks like a hike to Ballard Park is on Thursday morning's agenda!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

You are right Kelly... He doesn't seem to mind the cold and snow at all. What a pretty little sparrow. Don't think we have them here.. At least I haven't seen one. Guess we are too warm down here for him!!!!

Great pictures.
Hugs,
Betsy

Warren Baker said...

Makes you wonder why he came all this way just to get cold, is it even colder in manitoba

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Kelly.
The Tree Sparrow photo's are really good, as are your others, of course. Love the Hawk. Raptors are terrific. You are a great photographer Kelly.

Jenny said...

They really are handsome birds when you look closely. I love the butter yellow lower mandible too.

Gaina said...

I love sparrows (or LBJ's - Little Brown Jobs - as we sometimes call them in England). Yours are so subtly different its interesting :).

The Early Birder said...

Life just wouldn't be right without a Sparrow or two 'twittering' constantly outside the window. Nice shots Kelly.

Kyna said...

Haha! The last 2 photos look like he's smiling :D

Laure Ferlita said...

I think I'm in love!! What a cutie!!!!

Ginnymo said...

Awww! What cute photos you got of him Kelly. I have lots of Sparrows around but not sure if any of those kind are here. I don't think so. I wish we'd get more snow. Those storms keep missing us...ha ha !

Ken Januski said...

A very handsome fellow. I wish our 28 inches of snow had brought something so interesting to our feeders!

Susan W. said...

Your photographs are beautiful, your artwork is breathtaking, your writing is sublime, sweet, and often surprising. An hour spent with you is always an hour well spent!

Jim McCormac said...

Wonderful photos of a charming but very tough little bird. Not only are they lookers, but flocks of tree sparrows create a wonderful melody of tinkling notes, sort of like tiny icicles falling and shattering.

And think of the birding tree sparrows must be exposed to in the summer in the Arctic - jaegers, eiders, all kinds of shorebirds! A tree sparrow probably has a pretty impressive life list!

Jim

Chris Petrak said...

Lovely images of the tree sparrow - we don't even have those winter birds this year. And thanks for the update on your hawks from previous post - I was going to email you and ask about the possibility of a RSHA rather than a COHA, but clearly your resident coops cleared things up on its own. There was a similar question on Nature Observances - we don't expect to see RSHA up north in the winter. And one rule of thumb is that a buteo that looks/behaves like an accipiter is a RS

JRandSue said...

Outstanding Photography.
John.

Toni said...

They are adorable. you are going to paint one right?

Johnny Nutcase said...

such sweet pictures, Kelly! That head-on one is so cute, and the last one I love ;)

Cindy said...

very pretty little sparrow. Love the yellow on the beak. Nice shots.

dAwN said...

Kelly..
I am getting sick of visiting and seeing all Gorgeous photos...cant u just post one sorta bad one..:) teee hee..
Seriously..
Gorgeous photos again..so I am going to tweet these out to twitter...
Amazing..beautiful and always great info.

Kerri said...

These are lovely!! What a sweetie!

Bill S. said...

Beautiful pictures of a lovely bird. They are such a danty little thing.

Kelly said...

...thank you so much!!! This fellow really cooperated. My favorites favorite photos are the same as yours....that second photo of the head-on and that sweet expression of the last photo. I love it when they sit and pose so nicely!! I doubt I'll ever get another to be so obliging...

JKoenig said...

Thanks to your description and photos I just discovered the sparrow I posted earlier this year was actually an American Tree Sparrow instead of a Chipping Sparrow. They do look similar, but I see the difference now...Thanks!

Andor Marton said...

Lovely bird. It looks like our house sparrow, which is also perfectly adapted to the winter - sometimes we have even -25 centigrade. It's a real pleasure seeing them together with the tits in our backyard.