Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fox Sparrow!

I photographed this Fox Sparrow a few days ago at Pheasant Branch Conservancy with my Swarovski ATX 85 scope and Nikon V1 1 digital camera. In my humble opinion, I think the Fox Sparrow is one of the most beautiful North American birds. Plus, they possess an impressive voice that suits their regal appearance as well as their amusing antics. There is much geographical variability across their breeding range. In fact, there are 4 main groups with 18 subspecies total, but the “Red” nominate subspecies is my personal favorite. To be fair, it's the only one I've ever seen. I'm sure the others are equally stunning when encountered at close range in the wild. A few Fox Sparrows will spend the winter near the little springs at the north end of the creek corridor, but they don't start singing again until March. Their loud alarm calls serve as a signal to know when to try and find them in the brush and thicket. It's sort of similar to a Dark-eyed Junco's alarm call, but with more body and volume.

© 2012 Mike McDowell

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