Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bird Report

I went walking by the river at lunch yesterday. The grass on the flats is dry and brown, and the geese are gone, looking for a place where the grass is watered and green and succulent. Instead, I saw sparrows. Most were the ordinary, city sparrows, but there were a couple of birds that were distinctly smaller and looked to be grayish brown with no markings I could make out. They were shy and flew off when I watched them, finally flying into a pine tree. Once safely out of sight, one of them called. It was a chittering or buzzing, insect sound.

When I got home, I got out the bird book. As often happens, I did not find a bird exactly like the ones I saw. The closest was the grasshopper sparrow, which is an inch shorter than the English (or city) sparrow and has an insect-like call.

But the photo showed a brownish bird with markings, not vivid markings, but none the less...

But the only other bird that was possible was the clay colored sparrow, and it's bigger. These were definitely small birds.

So a tentative pair of grasshopper sparrows.

2 Comments:

Blogger hhw said...

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology bird entries include an audio file of each bird's call:

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Grasshopper_Sparrow.html

It's an abbreviated (but free) version of their Birds of North America Online.

http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA/

9:58 AM  
Blogger Sean M. Murphy said...

Also, Eleanor, try looking at the Junco. The bird you're describing sounds like a junco to me.

12:36 PM  

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