As many of us in the north have mentioned, it's a really strange year! The field is full of song sparrows. There are usually a few, but right now, that's all I'm hearing- well with the starlings and robins. But no red-winged blackbirds, and no meadowlarks yet. Seems odd to me.
However, you get... song sparrow, Melospiza melodia. The first two pictures I took yesterday. See how the aspen catkins are pointed sideways in the breeze!
Except for the shadow from the branch, this picture's not too bad. You can see the relatively long tail, gray eyebrow, white throat and striped/spotted breast with a central spot. Here it is singing.
Today, I tried to get a recording of the song. I made three tries, and the sounds were a little too distant. Mostly you can hear the wind, and as much as I'd like to share, I don't think it's good enough to tell you much of anything. However, with the lens all the way out, the quality of the images is worse, but you can pick up a few details.
For instance, here you can see the central spot on the breast very clearly! Song sparrows are common around the country, and there is a lot of variation, but they all have some sort of central spot with broken stripes around it.
And... it's so important to keep that spot clean!
Hope I haven't bored you with a very common bird, but their song is very sweet. The usual mnemonic to remember it is "Maids, maids, maids, put on the tea kettle-ettle-ettle-ettle!"
They always make me smile. Such a homey-cottage sort of message.
It's time I looked for a spring/summer background, don't you think? How do you like Iris 'Katharine Hodgkin?'
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