Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Grasshopper Sparrow

A week ago, John Holden and I found two Grasshopper Sparrows in Randolph, Minnesota’s Great Western Industrial Park. We easily took photographs of both birds. Grasshopper Sparrows range widely across the eastern and midwestern United States, but have suffered declining populations due to habitat loss. Such is undoubtedly the future of this population that resides in a grassland actively being developed for industry.
Because they are ground-feeders, Grasshopper Sparrows prefer intermediate grassland—drier areas in tall-grass prairies and lusher short-grass lands. The raised wing in the last photo is a territorial display (Vickery 1996). Note that the left wing is raised while the right remains at rest.

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