There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Savannah Sparrow

Passerculus sandwichensis
  • Grayish-brown upperparts with dark streaks
  • White underparts with dark streaks
  • Yellowish eyebrow stripe
  • Thin, white crown stripe
  • Short, forked tail
Listen to its call.
When I snapped this picture earlier today, I didn't even realize it was a new bird for me as it closely resembled a Song Sparrow. I was only when I got home and studied the photo that I saw the yellow lores, one of the distinguishing features of the Savannah Sparrow. This bird also lacks the Song Sparrow's prominent, central breast spot. Earlier this spring, a fellow birder told me that the song of this bird is often undetectable to people as they age because of its high pitch. Well, my hearing is just fine, thank you very much. The soft chips and trill made by this bird sound almost insect-like.
Learn more about the Savannah Sparrow.

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