Sunday, January 31, 2016

Coastal BC Birds: Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

While I was sitting on my sofa in front of the woodstove, something caught my eye. Along the cliff at the water's edge a small bird was bobbing along and diving in and out of the water. A few minutes later, it came over onto the cabin deck.

A Song Sparrow visits the cabin front porch in mid-January.

I tossed a small handful of birdseed next to the picnic table to see what would happen. He stuck around to eat lots of seeds before taking off.


I wasn't sure what kind of bird it was so I Googled likely varieties, but none of the pictures looked exactly right. Then I discovered WhatBird.com. I used the bird identification tool and narrowed it down. Then I discovered their forum section and joined. Within a day, site experts identified my little guy as a northwestern subspecies of Song Sparrow. This subspecies tends to be darker than its southern relatives.


Song Sparrows are year-round residents of Coastal BC, but I don't see or hear them much at the cabin this time of year. I can't wait until spring comes and the birds sing in the new day as the sun rises behind Goat Island to the east. -- Margy

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for the link to WhatBird. It looks like it will be useful.

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    1. They really responded quick. - Margy

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  2. He's cute! We have lighter-colored sparrows here.

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  3. Brilliant and I will have to check out that link. Love your photos of this little guy.

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  4. Cute little bird - glad he stayed around for photos. I love it when I finally discover just what bird it was that I had seen.

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    1. I have lots of bird identification books, but I just couldn't figure it out on my own. WhatBird was a great resource. - Margy

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  5. I love watching the birds, this one doesn't seem afraid of you either!

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    1. I was inside the cabin just a few feet away. The food must have been a big draw. - Margy

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  6. Hello, the Song Sparrows are sweet birds. I am glad he posed for you. I have used Whatbird many times, they are a big help. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy new week!

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    1. Thanks for providing a place for us to share. - Margy

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  7. Sparrows are so tricky! Great research!

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  8. Fabulous song sparrow photos! Thanks for the "Whatbird" link--that will be very helpful to me.

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  9. These shots are wonderful!

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  10. Sparrows use our laurel hedge as their winter home. If I'm careful I can stand near it and eavesdrop.

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    1. I never heard it sing, only crunch on seeds. It is so quiet up at the cabin even at dawn. - Margy

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