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Old Wednesday 4th May 2005, 03:00   #1
buckskin hawk
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Eastern Oklahoma
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Sparrow Heaven

Overgrown fence rows with blackberry thickets and tall grass pastures with tall trees together with a good water source and plenty of bugs, must be the necessary for lots of sparrows. I have just started listing this year in March and am surprised at my list of sparrows:

Sparrows:
77. 3/05 White-throated Sparrows – Oxley and Residence
78. 3/05 Lincoln’s Sparrows – Oxley
79. 3/05 Field Sparrow- Residence
80. 3/05 Song Sparrow-Residence
81. 3/05 Vesper’s Sparrow – Barn
82. 4/05 White Crowned Sparrow – Shelly’s & Barn
83. 4-05 Chipping Sparrow – Oxley
84. 4-05 Savannah Sparrow – Barn
85. 4/05 Harris’s Sparrow – Barn and residence (Seen yesterday while riding my pony.)

I have the following sparrows, which are common in my county at differnt times of the year, yet to find:
American Tree
Clay-colored
Grasshopper
Henslows
Le Conte's
Swamp

My list of owls is pitiful.
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Old Wednesday 4th May 2005, 03:54   #2
streatham
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Hi Buckskin,

A nice collection of sparrows you're building up there - Sparrows are one of my favourite family of birds. A lot of people write them off as dull or difficult to ID but I love their subtle differences - plus with a little work they let you get pretty close and afford you amazing looks. I saw my first Harris' this year in NY this year (they are a real rarity in the east) a cracking looking bird.

Luke
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Old Wednesday 4th May 2005, 14:10   #3
buckskin hawk
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I am getting the day off so I am driving up to the Tall Grass Prairie. They have been reporting grasshopper and henslows up there as well as a lek of prairie chickens. Some of the others are in the midst of departing for more northern reaches for the summer so I may have to wait until November to find them.

I had trouble with the Harris. At first I just saw the big black patch and wrote it off as an english house sparrow but with a little more cooperation one finally let me have a longer look. I liken their song to a White Throated who after two notes became tired and didn't finish his song- No peabody, peabody peabody!
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Old Thursday 5th May 2005, 17:34   #4
baccalynnwv
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Hello, I have just started feeding the birds at my new house and have several sparrows. I have identified two white throated sparrows. One's stripes are very white, the other is more of a dingy tan, then I think the rest that vist are chipping sparrows, but some seam rather big. I thought at first that they might be swamp sparrows. We have a little bit of everything on our property, fields, swamps, woods, tall grass, ...... I could go on. LOL..
Anyway, I'll try to catch a picture this eve to see if I am right on the chipping sparrows!

Becca
edit= I forgot to add that I just did learn of how many sparrow types there are out there. I had such a time identifying them. LOL. I thought a sparrow was a sparrow. Now my 15 month old son is starting to act like me, shoving his face to the window and staring the little birds down trying to see some little marking or difference.

Last edited by baccalynnwv : Thursday 5th May 2005 at 17:36.
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Old Friday 6th May 2005, 02:07   #5
buckskin hawk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baccalynnwv
Hello, I have just started feeding the birds at my new house and have several sparrows. I have identified two white throated sparrows. One's stripes are very white, the other is more of a dingy tan, then I think the rest that vist are chipping sparrows, but some seam rather big. I thought at first that they might be swamp sparrows. We have a little bit of everything on our property, fields, swamps, woods, tall grass, ...... I could go on. LOL..
Anyway, I'll try to catch a picture this eve to see if I am right on the chipping sparrows!

Becca
edit= I forgot to add that I just did learn of how many sparrow types there are out there. I had such a time identifying them. LOL. I thought a sparrow was a sparrow. Now my 15 month old son is starting to act like me, shoving his face to the window and staring the little birds down trying to see some little marking or difference.
Maybe he'll be a birder in the making!
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Old Friday 6th May 2005, 20:15   #6
buckskin hawk
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Added a Henslow's and a Grasshopper Sparrow to my list. I went to the Tall Grass Prairie where the Grasshopper Sparrows were singing and visible and the Henslow's were hiding. They were "singing" too (if you call that swallowed hickup a song) from underneath the fallen tall grasses. You could see the bed of grasses move and you could hear them scurrying around. I am glad they were singing because with all the pishing they wouldn't come out.

Other birds included:
Bluebirds and Eastern Meadowlarks
Red Tailed Hawks
Assortment of blackbirds
Cardinals
Mockingbirds
Barn Swallows
Cliff Swallows
House finch
Crows
Blue Gray Gnatcatchers
Field Sparrows
Chipping Sparrows

and on the trail in the woods near the stream-
Downey and Pileated Woodpeckers
Painted Bunting
Common Yellowthroat
Rose breasted Grossbeak
Hermit Thrush

Alas no prairie chickens or Diskcissels
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Old Monday 9th May 2005, 14:15   #7
baccalynnwv
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Well, I finially had two white crowned sparrows show up at my feeders this weekend. At first I thought they were white throated but they stood much more erect (had a much more proud look it seemed) and was bigger. At least they looked like it.
Question.. is there an easy way to tell a chipping sparrow from a swamp sparrow. I believe I might have both at my feeders. I know the swamp sparrows are bigger,and don't they have a white throat and gray face while the chipping sparrows throat and face are both white... or am I confused. LOL... They look so similar to me.

My son is definatly a birder in the making. Now he is pointing out every bird he sees when we go out and are driving around. We went fishing the other day and he kept calling the ducks over to where we were. LOL... "here birdie birdie birdie." I don't even know where he learned to call them like that. LOL
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Old Monday 9th May 2005, 23:08   #8
buckskin hawk
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Chipping Sparrows have a clear breast and Swamp Sparrow have light streaks and what I refer to as a bib. (A bib is the dark spot on their breast.) I don't have a Swamp Sparrow on my list yet! Sparrows are a little tricky-so many details to note. I usually have to take numerous looks. I am usually able to return to the same spot later to verify the id. Sparrows like to hang out.

I start at the top:

Songs are always a good clue -- Check out the Cornell Bird guide. http://www.birds.cornell.edu/program...rds/BirdGuide/
They have wave files that let you hear what each bird sounds like. Listen to the chippie and the swamp sp. What type of song does it have?

Note the type of Crown, eye-line, breast color and pattern, wing bars (stripes) and as it flies off notice the tail shape. I like to use a Sibley Field guide. They have multiple pictures of each bird from different angles.

My black lab also likes the ducks. She swims after them but of course never catches them. Keep taking him out and he'll grow in an appreciation of his natural surroundings. They have some great coloring bird pictures for children you can print from the internet too.
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