Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Song Sparrow

The song sparrow is found throughout the U.S. and much of Canada (below the southern boundary of Alaska) and has an incredible 52 subspecies (being whittled down to 25 after a morphological review).  The subspecies are then broken down into an eastern group, a northwestern group, a cismontane California group, a southwestern group and a Mexican plateau group. In general, the song sparrow has brown upperparts with with dark streaks on the back, white underneath with dark streaking and a dark brown spot in the middle of the breast, a brown cap, a gray face with with a brown streak through each eye, and a long brown rounded tail. They are highly variable in size among subspecies. The likely subspecies I saw recently at Irvine Ranch Water District is found from the central California coast and Central Valley down to northern Baja California with dark upperparts, becoming darker as you go south, brown with gray mantle edges and a plump bill base. 

The following are photos of song sparrows over the last year or two:
At Batiquitos Lagoon near Carlsbad, California. 

At Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah. 

At Whittier Narrows in Los Angeles. 

At Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge.

At Irvine Ranch Water District.

At our home in Redlands. 

At Big Morongo Canyon.

Most recently at Irvine Ranch Water District where I saw lots and lots of them. 

1 comment:

  1. The obvious question: Do they have a particularly beautiful song?