Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)

By AF3LMike | af3l_mike | 14 Apr 2019


Song Sparrows are one of the most familiar sparrows in North America. They can be found just about anywhere. Song Sparrows often like to come around bird feeders and eat the seed that other birds spill onto the ground. The Song Sparrow is one of my favorite birds to photograph. These birds are not easily spooked so they make a good subject for a camera :) Here are some photos of the Song Sparrow

 

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Some cool facts about the Song Sparrow are provided by "The Cornell Lab of Ornithology" website

 

1. The Song Sparrow is found throughout most of North America, but the birds of different areas can look surprisingly different. Song Sparrows of the Desert Southwest are pale, while those in the Pacific Northwest are dark and heavily streaked. Song Sparrows of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands chain are even darker, and they’re huge: one-third longer than the eastern birds, and weighing twice as much

2. The range of the Song Sparrow is continuous from the Aleutians to the eastern United States. There’s also an isolated population that lives on the plateau of central Mexico, about 900 miles from the next closest population. These Song Sparrows have white throats and chests with black streaks

3. Song Sparrows seem to have a clear idea of what makes a good nest. Field researchers working for many years on the same parcels of land have noticed that some choice spots – the base of a rose bush, or a particular hollow under a hummock of grass, for example – get used over and over again, even when entirely new birds take over the territory

4. Despite the large differences in size and coloration across the Song Sparrow’s range, genetic divergence is low. High rates of immigration and emigration may keep populations genetically similar, while local selective conditions maintain the physical differences

5. Like many other songbirds, the male Song Sparrow uses its song to attract mates as well as defend its territory. Laboratory studies have shown that the female Song Sparrow is attracted not just to the song itself, but to how well it reflects the ability of the male to learn. Males that used more learned components in their songs and that better matched their song tutors (the adult bird they learned their songs from) were preferred

6. Some scientists think that Song Sparrows of wet, coastal areas have darker plumage as a defense against feather mites and other decay agents that thrive in humid climates. The darker plumage contains more of a pigment called melanin, which makes feathers tougher and harder to degrade than lighter, unpigmented feathers

7. The Song Sparrow, like most other North American breeding birds, uses increasing day length as a cue for when to come into breeding condition. But, other cues can be important too, such as local temperature and food abundance. A study found that male Song Sparrows from the coast of Washington state came into breeding condition two months earlier than Song Sparrows in the nearby mountains, where the daylight changes were the same, but temperatures were cooler and trees budded out two months later

8. Song Sparrows often lay two or more clutches of eggs per breeding season. In exceptional circumstances, such as when resources are abundant or predation causes the loss of several clutches in a row, Song Sparrows have laid as many as seven clutches in a single breeding season, and have successfully reared up to four clutches

9. The oldest known Song Sparrow was at least 11 years, 4 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Colorado

 

 

My camera equipment:

Canon EOS 60D body

Canon EF-S 18-135mmf/3.5-5.6 IS Lens

Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM for Canon EF mount

Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di Vc USD Lens for Canon

All photos are handshot, no tripod

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read this post. Have a great day/night wherever you may be

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AF3LMike
AF3LMike

My name is Michael from Pennsylvania, U.S.A. I am 47 yrs old and have created this blog for my passion of bird, other wildlife, landscape photography, basically anything that captures my interest with a camera. I hope you enjoy what I post


af3l_mike
af3l_mike

My name is Michael from Pennsylvania, U.S.A. I am 47 yrs old and have created this blog for my passion of bird, other wildlife, landscape photography and basically anything that captures my interest with a camera. I hope you enjoy what I post

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