Friday, December 18, 2015

Brewer’s Sparrow

Erika and I found a small flock of Brewer’s Sparrows, with adults feeding young birds, at the I-90 Ryegrass Rest Area, just before the highway descends east into the Columbia River gorge. This photograph is of a young bird. This species inhabits sagebrush scrublands across western North America. Unlike other sparrows, these birds mainly consume arthropods and can go for a long time without water. Although common in its range, these sparrows’ numbers are declining, perhaps as a result of destruction and over-grazing of their habitat (Rotenberry et al. 1999). This species was named for a Boston ornithologist who lived from 1814 to 1880.

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