Thursday, October 21, 2010

Grosbeaks, Finches, Sparrows

Birders in southeastern Vermont have been excited by two (maybe three) Blue Grosbeaks in Vernon. A southern species rarely encountered this far north, they were probably brought north on one of the recent nor'easters.

Blue Grosbeaks (female or juvenile)

The juveniles (or females) were among a large mixed flock of sparrows( White-throat, White-crowned, Song) and juncos. Here is a nice size comparison between the Blue Grosbeak and the White-throated Sparrow ...

Blue Grosbeak (l) with White-throated Sparrow (r)

In my backyard, there have about 10+ Evening Grosbeaks, uncountable numbers of Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows, and a few adult and juvenile White-crowned Sparrows. A few Chipping Sparrows also linger, almost all of them juveniles ...

Chipping Sparrow (juvenile)
 Last year the winter finches were almost totally absent. Predictions have not been much better for this year. To my surprise, and delight, Pine Siskins  (close relative of goldfinches) appeared on Monday (12+) and have quickly taken to the largess of my bird tables.

Pine Siskin - with American Goldfinch (rear right)

But the highlight in the backyard is the Fox Sparrow which arrived on Sunday and continues to scratch for seeds, of which there are many on the ground (say "thank you," Mr. Fox, to the Blue Jays).The Fox Sparrow is a transient; one paused very briefly during the spring. I also had a very brief encounter with one on the Gaspe Peninsula in June. This beautiful, and large sparrow, is a treat to have visiting in the yard ...



Fox Sparrow (red-taiga)
 This has been a good year for sparrows and finches in the yard. Note that the Fox Sparrow is surrounded by White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and Purple Finch ...

Fox Sparrow (c) with sparrows, juncos, finch
Good birding!!

5 comments:

JoAnne Russo said...

great pix of both grosbeaks!! glad you found them.

Hilke Breder said...

Great post! I am so envious of the Blue Grosbeaks and the Fox Sparrow!! I have never seen either one. Couldn't make it out to Vernon since I was working :-(

Larry said...

Nice photos-I've gone to where Blue Grosbeaks are reported on a few occasions but came up empty each time.

Jen said...

Ooh I love the last photo with the great variety of birds...

elvira pajarola said...

This sympatic little "singer" looks really almost "exotic" in this lovely group of cousins....FABULOUS!!!!!!!

ciao ciao elvira

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