Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Color of November

The drumlin oaks are bare. It's been too warm for snow, but November's paintbrush has finally overtaken summer’s colors; most everything on the prairie seems to have been brushed by bronze, including the birds that will spend the winter at Pheasant Branch.

Fox Sparrow

While the majority of Fox Sparrows have moved on, I often find a few of them on the north side of the creek corridor near the small springs during winter – they remain close to the condominiums which have plenty of feeders. American Tree Sparrows are now the most numerous bird in the grasses and edges of the prairie. Fresh from the north, some are still singing fragments of their summer song, but these will eventually be replaced by trilly and diminutive calls. Even on the coldest days in January, they greet the morning sun with their cheerful voices.

American Tree Sparrow

There might be less to see during this particular time of year, but there are opportunities to learn more about general bird behavior. While I encourage people to appreciate and explore nature, I enjoy that fewer people are outside during late fall, winter, and early spring. I find myself in different mental modes; when people stop and ask me what I'm looking at or photographing, I'm more of a teacher, when I'm alone I'm a student, because there are infinite things to know about Nature.

All images © 2010 Mike McDowell

1 comment:

  1. In Green Bay today, 5 Fox Sparrows still hanging around and a first of fall Eastern Towhee male.