My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

Chirps and Cheeps Bird Blog

A Birder's Blog About Birding in Western New York

I'm All About White-throated Sparrows

Published April 25, 2011
Tags: Life List Happenings, White-throated sparrow, Western New York, bird list, whistle, feeders, blue bird, mealworms

I belong to a very active bird email list that's full of lively conversations from many friendly people in the Western New York area. They report bird sightings, how to make a blue bird house, where to find mealworms, and many other interesting topics .  I've often heard sightings of the White-throated Sparrow.  I went to a few local birding hot spots to see one of these cuties, but to no avail - until a few days ago.

I saw an unfamiliar bird out in the back rummaging around on the ground under the feeder that hangs from our huge pine tree.  I knew it was a sparrow, but until I enlarged the photos on my computer, was I able to identify it as a White-throated Sparrow.  Those distinctive stripes surrounded by yellow on the top of its head made it easy. Cool!  And now, we've got many (well, 4 - 5 at a time!) coming around to all the feeders and poking around in the surrounding shrubbery.

Did you know there are two color forms of White-throated Sparrows: white-crowned and tan-crowned. These sparrows almost always mate the opposite color form - males of both color forms prefer females with white stripes and both kinds of females prefer males with tan-stripes.  Go figure!

The photos below are a few that I've captured over the past few days.  And today, they were everywhere. Their sweet, clear whistles are now very familiar to me and I think I could identity that sound anywhere!  I love this little guy!
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White-throated Sparrow
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White-throated Sparrow
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White-throated Sparrow
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White-throated Sparrow
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You can really see his white throat in this shot
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White-throated Sparrow
Reply from: Marge on 4/27/2011 7:54 PM
 What a beauty! How lucky to have these beautiful birds in your yard. I have never seen this sparrow. Wonderful!"
Reply from: Lynn on 4/28/2011 7:46 AM
 I can see why you love these little guys. They are very cute and their white throats are a nice identifier. How fortunate you are to have such a wide variety of birds come to your feeders. I appreciate your tips and statistics on the different birds, too."


Mrs. Pine Warbler!

Published April 19, 2011
Tags: My Feeders, Pine Warbler, pine trees, deciduous

When will winter END?! Today was another snowy day here in Western New York. By mid-April, we expect some sunny skies and warmer temps, but we never got above 35 today and snow fell on and off all day long.

In spite of the snow, Mrs. Pine Warbler came by, unaccompanied by her mate.  I'm assuming they're mates, however, I really don't know if these two have paired up or not.  This little female was a little drier than her counterpart the other day, as that windy rainy day turned into a wet snowy day today.

Pine Warblers prefer to nest in pine trees as their name indicates. We have some pines around our property, but it's mostly deciduous, so I'm wondering if these little guys are just passing through.
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Mrs. Pine Warbler
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She only stayed for a little while - hope she returns!
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A female Purple Finch - they're still coming every day
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A male Purple Finch taking a stretch
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A Song Sparrow stoicly endures the April snow
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Red Squirrel - I kept shoo'ing him away from the bird's food ALL day!
Reply from: Lynn on 4/28/2011 7:49 AM
 I know the red squirrel is a pest, but he sure looks innocent and cute in your photo! Your pictures are wonderful."


A Pine Warbler Stops By!

Published April 13, 2011
Tags: Life List Happenings, Pine Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Purple Finch, life list, web developer

As Mom termed it, it's a "drippy day" today.  The rain was here from early morning and still continues near dinner time. In spite of the rain, though, it was a great day at the feeders.  As I may have mentioned, I'm a web developer with an office in my home. I have the good fortune to be able to work with my mouse in one hand and my camera in the other. Looking up from my computer screen every few minutes, I can keep an eye on who's doing what at the feeders. Well, what a neat surprise today when I saw something new and completely different!  I thought what I saw was a Magnolia Warbler at first, but this cute, plump, yellow little guy lacked the thick, white eyebrow. I was stumped for a little while, but Audubon came through again and I can positively say a Pine Warbler was here - a life list bird for me!

The Purple Finches from 2 days ago are still here, and so - for a "drippy day" - it sure was a GREAT birding day!
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A Male Pine Warbler - he's pretty soaked
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Male Pine Warbler - a life list addition!
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Male Pine Warbler
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Male Pine Warbler
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Male Pine Warbler
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Male Pine Warbler
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The Purple Finches returned today again
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Male Purple Finch
Reply from: Nancy Casper on 4/13/2011 7:15 PM
 Great photos! And yes, that wet little bird is a pine warbler! Congrats on having one stop by at your feeder."
Reply from: Marge on 4/15/2011 7:17 PM
 Sue - that is a beautiful little yellow bird. How great it is that you can work and watch God's creatures at the same time. Lucky you!"