Grasshopper Sparrow at the Magic Hedge in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 3, 2017

I hit the lakefront in Milwaukee early this morning and the bird of the day I guess was this one. It actually had 4 different names today, coming from the “Magic Hedge”, who knows I guess, but it is a Grasshopper Sparrow. It gave very brief views for about 10 seconds and that was it. Other birders were right next to me but just did not see it. Images were taken on May 3, 2017.

Back view…

Eastern Towhee at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 13, 2017

Birding along the lakefront in Milwaukee this morning one of the highlights was a FOY Eastern Towhee, male at Lake Park. It was a pretty gloomy day and cool. Other birds to note, a lot of Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets and still a few Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. Images were taken on April 13, 2017.

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Eastern Towhee

Binomial name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus

Category: emberizids

Size: 8.5” long, 10.5” wing span

Weight: 1.4 oz

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White-throated Sparrow at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 10, 2017

Doing some birding at Lake Park in Milwaukee this morning I came across a stunning White-throated Sparrow. The first of the year for me. I never saw this bright of a yellow on a White-throated Sparrow before. It hung around scratching for food while I was there. Images were taken on April 10, 2017

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White-throated Sparrow

Binomial name: Zonotrichia albicollis

Category: Emberizids

Size: 6.75” long, 9” wing span

Weight: 0.91 Oz.

Note: Sexes are unknown by colors

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Scratching for food

Scratching for food, something they do…

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Head on

Head on

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Dark-eyed Junco, Oregon Junco at Grant Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on February 8, 2017

Making a stop today at Grant Park in Milwaukee County a Dark-eyed Junco, Oregon Junco made a brief appearance at the feeder there. The junco was present for about 30 seconds and then it left. I hung around for about 20 minutes and it did not reappear. The feeder was empty but there were birds around finding things to eat. I photographed a Dark-eyed Junco, Oregon Junco at the same location on December 15, 2016. This image was taken on February 8, 2017.

Dark-eyed Junco, Oregon Junco

Dark-eyed Junco, Oregon Junco

December 15, 2016 image below

Dark-eyed Junco, Oregon

Dark-eyed Junco, Oregon Junco photographed on December 15, 2016

Dark-eyed Junco, Oregon

Binomial name: Junco hyemalis

Category: Emberizids

Size: 6.25” long, 9.25” wing span

Weight:  .67 oz

Dark-eyed Junco, Oregon Junco at Grant Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on December 15, 2016

On a routine bird run along the lakefront in Milwaukee this morning the highlight was the Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon Junco) at Grant Park in Milwaukee County. It was mixed in with about a dozen Common Dark-eyed Juncos. The Oregon is a subspecies of the Dark-eyed Junco who’s normal range is from central Iowa to the west coast. It was cool to see this bird as I have never seen one before. Not considered a countable bird as it is a subspecies. Images were taken on December 15, 2016.

Dark-eyed Junco, Oregon

Dark-eyed Junco, Oregon

Dark-eyed Junco, Oregon

Binomial name: Junco hyemalis

Category: Emberizids

Size: 6.25” long, 9.25” wing span

Weight:  .67 oz

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Dark-eyed Junco, Oregon, on a rock

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Birding at the Milwaukee Community Garden on November 23, 2015

One of my birding stops today was the Milwaukee Community Garden off of Rawson Ave in Milwaukee County. I hung out there for a while and enjoyed all the different species of birds picking and eating weed seeds off the dead stalks. The roads were open and I made a few passes though there. No sign of the Northern Shrike but a few Red-tailed Hawks were in the area. All these birds work way to hard! Images were taken on November 23, 2015.

Northern Cardinal, male

Northern Cardinal, male

Northern Cardinal, female

Northern Cardinal, female

White-crowned Sparrow, male

White-crowned Sparrow, male eating weed seeds

 

White-crowned Sparrow, male

White-crowned Sparrow, adult eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, male getting that seed!

White-crowned Sparrow, adult getting that seed!

White-crowned Sparrow, male eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, adult eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, female

White-crowned Sparrow, juvenile eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, female eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, juvenile

White-crowned Sparrow, female

White-crowned Sparrow, juvenile

American Tree Sparrow picking and eating weed seeds

American Tree Sparrow picking and eating weed seeds

American Tree Sparrow picking and eating weed seeds

American Tree Sparrow picking and eating weed seeds

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow

House Finch, male

House Finch, male

American Goldfinch picking and eating seeds

American Goldfinch picking and eating seeds

American Goldfinch picking and eating seeds

American Goldfinch picking and eating seeds

American Goldfinch picking and eating seeds

American Goldfinch picking and eating seeds

American Goldfinch picking and eating seeds

American Goldfinch picking and eating seeds

American Goldfinch picking and eating seeds

American Goldfinch picking and eating seeds

American Goldfinch at takeoff

American Goldfinch at takeoff

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow eating weed seeds

American Tree Sparrow eating weed seeds

American Tree Sparrow eating weed seeds

Savannah Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow on alert!

White-crowned Sparrow adult on alert!

Fox Sparrow in Marquette County Wisconsin on November 21, 2015

I spent a short time at a local birding spot in Marquette County Wisconsin and it was very slow. One occasion a Fox Sparrow showed and gave nice views. Red-headed Woodpeckers are still hanging around but I did not pursue them. 5 American Bald Eagles have been hanging around too in the area seeing them regularly. Lots of Blue Jays, they are still grabbing acorns of the oak trees and storing them. At least 2 adults and 4 juveniles, it will be interesting if they will be here in spring. A light snow last night, winter is here. Images were taken on November 21, 2015.

Fox Sparrow made a stop. Typically I bird I usually see on the ground feeding.

Fox Sparrow, typically a bird I usually see on the ground feeding.

Fox Sparrow

Binomial name: Passerella iliaca

Category: Emberizids

Size: 7” long, 10.5” wing span

Weight: 1.1 oz

Note: I have heard it so many times, “Fox Sparrow is my favorite sparrow”

Fox Sparrow, back view

Fox Sparrow, back view

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Blue Jay looking back

Blue Jay looking back

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Blue Jay in the late afternoon sun

White-crowned Sparrows on the Milwaukee Lakefront on September 30, 2015

Birding on the Milwaukee lakefront this morning was quiet. The only birds to note were some White-crowned Sparrows, adults and 1st winter birds and I also saw a few small flocks of Dark-eyed Juncos. The White-crowned Sparrows were feeding near a tall grass area and jumped out once in awhile for some weed seeds. I came across a few other birders and results were the same, a slow morning. With the strong northeast winds bringing in the colder temps I thought there might have been a couple of surprise birds this morning. Images of the White-crowned Sparrows were taken on September 30, 2015.

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White-crowned Sparrow, adult eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow

Binomial name: Zonotrichia leucophrys

Category: Emberizids

Size: 7” long, 9.5” wing span

Weight: 1 oz

White-crowned Sparrow, 1st winter

White-crowned Sparrow, 1st winter

White-crowned Sparrow, adult eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, adult eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, 1st winter

White-crowned Sparrow, 1st winter

White-crowned Sparrow, 1st winter, being alert and standing tall something alarmed it

White-crowned Sparrow, 1st winter eating weed seeds but
became being alert after it heard something

White-crowned Sparrow, adult eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, adult eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, 1st winter, eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, 1st winter eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, adult eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, adult eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, 1st winter, eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, 1st winter, eating weed seeds

White-crowned Sparrow, adult

White-crowned Sparrow, adult

White-throated Sparrow

I recently did some birding at the Fox River Parkway South in Waukesha Wisconsin. There where numerous White-throated Sparrows present with nice views. A flock of approximately 6-12 birds at different times moved around the woods while I was there. The sparrows scratched the ground finding seeds to eat that have worked their way under leaves and surface ground cover over the winter. Photographs taken on April 29, 2014.

White-throated Sparrow - adult white and black striped variation

White-throated Sparrow – adult white and black striped variation.

White-throated Sparrow

Binomial name: Zonotrichia albicollis

Category: Sparrows

Size: 6.75” long, 9” wing span

Weight: 0.91 Oz.

Habitat: Woods, forest edges, pond edges and tree lines in brushy under growth. Breeding range is the far northern areas of the Midwest states in the US and the lower two-thirds of Canada. The winter range for this species is Southern US from New Mexico through northern IN to the east coast of the US.

Diet: Mainly seeds from grasses and weeds, sometimes fruits seeds.

Nesting: The nest is constructed by the female usually and on the ground, it is cup shaped. The location is usually under a bush, shrub or dead vegetation but concealed by leaves. Materials used are mosses, sticks, pine needles, and grasses. 1-6 eggs pale green and spotted are laid and incubated from 10-14 days, 1-2 broods.

Cool Facts: There are two forms of this sparrow. One is the white and black striped head, the other tan and black striped head regardless of sex. Young birds and females are just duller in color. They both variations have the white colored throat. A frequent visitor to the backyard feeder in migration to some parts of the US.

White-throated Sparrow - adult white and black striped variation.

White-throated Sparrow – adult white and black striped variation with seed in mouth.

White-throated Sparrow - adult tan and black striped variation.

White-throated Sparrow – adult tan and black striped variation.

White-throated Sparrow - adult white and black striped variation - back view.

White-throated Sparrow – adult white and black striped variation – back view.

White-throated Sparrow - adult white and black striped variation.

White-throated Sparrow – adult white and black striped variation with seed in mouth.

White-throated Sparrow - adult tan and black striped variation.

White-throated Sparrow – adult tan and black striped variation.

White-throated Sparrow - adult white and black striped variation, scratching for seeds.

White-throated Sparrow – adult white and black striped variation, scratching for seeds.

White-throated Sparrow - adult white and black striped variation.

White-throated Sparrow – adult white and black striped variation.

Birdwatching in Marquette County

While birdwatching in Marquette County, I was able to photograph Eastern Bluebirds, a Red-headed Woodpecker, and others on October 26, 2013. Images were taken near a small water source where birds were coming and going, bathing, preening and drinking.

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Eastern Bluebird

 

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Eastern Bluebird

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Red-headed Woodpecker, Juvenile transitioning to the red head

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Blue Jay

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Blue Jay

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Dark-eyed Junco

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Blue Jay

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Black-capped Chickadee

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Eastern Bluebird

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Eastern Bluebird

To see the gallery of images, please click here.

Harris’s Sparrow

Harris’s Sparrow photographed at Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha, WI on September 25th and 26th, 2013.

Harris's Sparrow

Harris’s Sparrow

Binomial name: Zonotrichia querula

Category: Emberizids

Description: Brown face and back, both overlaid with black markings especially crown, face, and throat.  White on wings and underparts.  Pink bills and legs.

Size: 6.7″ – 7.9″ long, 11” wingspan

Weight: 0.92 oz. – 1.7 oz.

Habitat: Coniferous forests and tundras adjacent to bogs

Diet: Seeds, especially grass seeds, fruits, pine needles, and flower parts.  Scratches the ground to forage for food.

Nesting: Nests are built on the ground under the protection of a coniferous bush or in a bed of grasses.  Both parents construct the nest in mid-June using materials such as sticks, grasses, moss, and lichens.   The female will lay 3-5 eggs at a time, laying eggs at the end of June to the middle of July.  The young remain in the nest for about 3 weeks before becoming completely independent of their parents.

Notes: “Harris’s Sparrow” is named after ornithologist Edward Harris.  This bird will live nearly 12 years in the wild if not caught by a predator.  And, Harris’s Sparrow only breeds in Canada, the only bird to do so.

Harris's Sparrow

Harris's Sparrow

Please click here to see the gallery of images.

Lark Sparrow

A Lark Sparrow was found by a local birder on the oval running track at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin. It is a place I check often now as birds obviously stop at this location. The Lark Sparrow not common at all here is found on rare occasions during spring migration. This bird appeared to be feeding on weed seed on the track. This was a life bird for many birders that day that were present. If my memory is correct, Paul Sparks found this bird. Images were taken on April 27, 2013.

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Lark Sparrow

Binomial name: Chondestes grammacus

Category: Emberizids

Size: 6.5″ long, 11” wingspan

Weight: 1 oz

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Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow

This Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow was found by local birders during spring migration at Lake Park. The exact location of this bird was at the east end of the “Magic Hedge”. The Magic Hedge is a line of deciduous trees running perpendicular with Lake Michigan just south of the Milwaukee Water Filtration Plant. It hung around for most of the day and was a life bird for many. Images were taken on May 18, 2013.

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Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow

Binomial name: Ammodramus nelsoni

Category: Sparrows

Size: 5″ long, 7” wingspan

Weight: 0.6 oz

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