Saturday, May 31, 2008

Prairie Therapy

A morning excursion to the prairie at Governor Nelson State Park produced one of my favorite birds – the Grasshopper Sparrow. Clear blue skies gave way to clouds and the sparrow seemed to be more prone to posing when light was obscured. Still, it's hard to complain. It's uncommon for this species to offer such a close-up inspection of the intricate detail of its plumage:

Bobolinks, Eastern Kingbirds and Eastern Meadowlarks complimented the sparrow's insect-like song to form a veritable grassland bird chorus. Content with what I could get for photos, I spent the remainder of the morning exploring the woods and oak savannah. But before leaving, I paid a final visit to the Grasshopper Sparrow and admired it through my spotting scope for a while. The bird's business of flying from one perch to another to belt out its song provides the kind of enjoyment and entertainment no movie or book can capture - it's just you and the bird amid a sea of waving prairie.

Governor Nelson State Park - May 31st, 2008:

Canada Goose
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Belted Kingfisher
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Willow Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Sedge Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
American Redstart
Mourning Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Field Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
American Goldfinch

All images © 2008 Mike McDowell

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