Thursday, September 27, 2012

Duluth Sparrows

One of the highlights of our Hawk Ridge visit on Sunday was the plethora of sparrows drawn in by seed spread out near a set of passerine banding nets. Despite intrusions by clueless tourists and unthoughtful volunteers, the birds were relatively tame and easy to photograph.

The first photo is of the the eastern Zonotrichia leucophrys leucophrys. Note the black line the links the eye to the bill. The lores are white or pale in western races. The orange bill indicates this individual is a northern, rather than eastern, bird. Birds from further east have pinkish bills. I posted accounts of western birds on 17 November 2009  and 21 September 2012.

The second bird is a bright White-throated Sparrow. As I have previously posted, White-throats come in bright and dull color morphs. This variation has nothing to do with the bird's sex and is poorly understood. The third photo is of a dull morph bird.

Finally, one Fox Sparrow visited the feeding area. I have recently written about the variation and systematics of this species. The name Fox derives from the rufous rump and tail feathers.

No comments:

Post a Comment