Thursday, September 5, 2013

This week's Crops & Clips: Song Sparrow

True to its name, the Song Sparrow pours out its melody all through spring and summer. It has been the most persistent songster in our Illinois yard before, during and even after most of the land around us was developed. Yet I have obtained relatively few good photos of this species, as they generally stay hidden and do not let me get too close. 

Song Sparrow 20100607 
This Song Sparrow conveniently took a perch on a rock next to our condo.
 as I waited for just any bird to appear.

Song Sparrow DPP 20110815

They prefer prairies with some shrubs, and the edges of woodlands, so most of my photo opportunities have been at nearby forests and grasslands, such as the prairie at Nelson Lake/Dick Young Forest Preserve. 

Song Sparrow singing 20110713

The Song Sparrow's plumage varies from grayish to warm reddish brown.

Song Sparrow 2-20120529

Song Sparrow 20120709

This particularly bright Song Sparrow was at nearby Jones Meadow Park in North Aurora.

Song Sparrow 3-20101015

While their calls and songs are distinctive, the Song Sparrow's long expressive tail with a rounded tip helps distinguish it from some similar but smaller relatives such as the Savannah and Lincoln's Sparrows. Perhaps the most cooperative subject I've seen was this one on barbed wire at Hawk's Bluff Park near our daughter's home in Batavia.

Song Sparrow 20100314

Song Sparrow 3-20100314

It finally tired of posing.

Song Sparrow 2-20100314


  1. a perfect little beauty! had i not already drawn one, i'd have asked permission to use one of your photos as inspiration. :)

  2. As always, I learned from this post; have never been sure how to tell this sparrow. I'll remember to check for that rounded tail.

    He's so pretty in that one photo especially, just singing his heart out. And very nice taking off from his prickly perch!

  3. Hi Ken Well this beautiful little bird posed well for you. some grat shots and information. Now all I need is to hear it sing!

  4. Love that 1st barbed wire shot. And the photos of the birds singing are fabulous. I don't think I've ever been able to get an image of a bird singing. Really nice capture, Ken.

  5. Great shots of a favourite!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  6. Great series of photos! I love the singing shots!

  7. Fabulous shots of this beautiful bird!

  8. I love these little birds! Great series!


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