Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Savannah Sparrow chips in the High Meadow...

I was so happy when this little Savannah Sparrow flew up in front of me and perched within camera range. The wind was tossing him around, and it was fun to watch him hang on to the leaves. Although succession seems to be stealing a lot of the grassland away at VOA, enough of the High Meadow remains to keep the Savannah Sparrows around. I love their beautiful little faces and the yellow splashes behind their eyes...

...a Savannah Sparrow hunkers down against the wind and holds on tight! He's too sweet for words...

...the Savannah Sparrow gets his name from Savannah, Georgia--one of my favorite cities. No wonder I love this little bird. Alexander Wilson named this beautiful bird after Savannah because that's where he first found one in 1811 (click here for more info).

...the Savannah Sparrow is a newcomer to my town. According to "The Birds of Ohio," by Peterjohn, the first nesting pairs arrived in Cincinnati and Dayton in 1952. Previously they were only migrants in our area.

...in southwestern Ohio, Savannahs are locally distributed and not that common, but you can always find them at VOA Park (at least for the time being). Unfortunately, the park has stopped mowing the High Meadow due to lack of funding, and succession is rapidly changing the grassland environment, which is really sad because the VOA High Meadow is one of the few areas in our populated suburbs where grassland birds (including Henslow's Sparrows) can live.


...psssst...little Savannah...look under the leaf...lunch is waiting!

Savannah Sparrow in the High Meadow from Kelly Riccetti on Vimeo.

...this little Savannah Sparrow is tossed around in the breeze in the High Meadow at VOA Park in West Chester, Ohio. You can hear him chipping if you listen carefully. The louder call is of the American Robin in the tree behind me. (Probably saying something like, "look behind you...I'm here...forget about that little Savannah...Robins rule...I have an orange belly...and I'm bigger...look at me!).

26 comments:

KAT said...

great post...this is a cute sparrow ...I like his yellow eyebrows LOL I like robins too. thanks for the very interesting info
Come to Loveland (today)Sunday afternoon for our wet paint sale by the running show store right across from Paxtons...I am praying it does not thunderstorm during our show and sale from 2 till 4 pm. You MUST join in the painting during "Paint the Town" next year it is fun and there are prizes..Only 15 artists took part this year.

Kelly said...

...Cool!!! I would love to get over there tomorrow. Next year I will watch for the dates and join in. I've never done anything like that. Thanks for the invite!! :-)

Debbie said...

kelly....these are just gorgoues shots.....beautiful colors in this lil guy!!!

you always get the best poses, in the green of nature!!!!

Elaine said...

I thought your series of photos were really good, but then I watched the video. Then I was impressed with how clear the shots were when the wind was blowing so hard! I love the windblown do in the last shot!

Modesto Viegas said...

Good series!

Roy said...

Nice shots! I haven't seen any here in Central PA as yet, but we used to see them from time to time in the Newport area, especially (surprisingly) in Winter.

Lois Evensen said...

Love the images and the information. When we get home we'll have to make a trip to VOA park with our cameras.

Montanagirl said...

I have never seen one of these! He's so cute, and hanging on for dear life! His wind-tossed hair-do is pretty cute.

texwisgirl said...

cute little fellow!

forestal said...

great captures. I often lose my cool in situations of closeness and cant focus well.

dan

Cicero Sings said...

Yet we have Savannah Spartows way over here in Central B.C.

Wren said...

What a nice look at the sparrow, and even better to get good, clear photos. It doesn't get much better than this in bird watching/photography/blogging !

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

I've never seen one, Kelly. Great shots! Love the drama.

Guy said...

Hi Kelly

What beauttiful closeups of the sparrow. I have see Savannah sparrows in the wild but I haave never seen them like this. What wonderful detail, lots of personality.

Regards
Guy

ShySongbird said...

What a pretty little bird it is, quite delicate looking I think and of course your photos are beautiful, so clear and detailed!

Appalachian Lady said...

I have seen the savannah sparrow only once and in a pasture. Your photos are great. It really shows the pretty yellow on its head.

Wanda..... said...

Loved your photos of the little Savannah Sparrow...the leaves in your photos are even beautiful, Kelly!

Janice K said...

What a sweet little bird. Great pictures...I loved seeing and hearing him too.

Banjo52 said...

Would you say the yellow brow is the first thing to look for in identification? I don't know if we have them, but if B.C. does . . .

Thanks for the info and still more great pics and video.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

What a darling little bird! I hope to visit Savannah for a couple of days in August--I'll keep my eyes open for these little guys.

Oh! My word verification word is: cherp!

Bluuu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bluuu said...

Hi! I reminded about your work today in the morning when I saw this magnificent bird! Did you see something awesome like this before? Check out: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bertrandocampos/5142040735/

By the way, I love yours work's photos!

BirdingMaine said...

Wonderful post and photo series Kelly! Great video too!

NCmountainwoman said...

Great photographs once again. Are you going to paint the Savannah Sparrow?

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone for the kind words. I love this little bird, and he's definitely a looker. Banjo...I do always look for the yellow over the eye...that is always a clue for me. Also...the habitat. When I'm at VOA I'm always on the lookout for them, and I sort of know where they usually appear. This fellow was true to form and showed up in one of his favorite haunts! NC...I haven't painted one yet, but I think you have a good idea. He's definitely going to be topping my list! Tomorrow I will be painting birds on rocks with kids at Shawnee, but when I get back to Cincy... :-)

Steve Borichevsky said...

Hang on little dude!