Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Rufous-Collared Sparrow

In Bogota, Colombia we took a cable car up the steep Monserrate Mountain to the Sanctuary of Monserrate, a Catholic shrine built between 1650 and 1657 at 10,341 feet elevation at the southeast side of Bogota. I had my camera and saw a beautiful little bird which our guide dismissed as "just a sparrow," one of the most beautiful sparrows I've ever seen. 
On Monserrate Mountain in Bogota.

I saw one more such a "sparrow" at the top of Montezuma Hill in Tatama National Nature Park at about 8,500 feet. 
On Montezuma Hill. 

I saw two of the sparrows, one at each of the high points of our trip. However, despite my experience, they are not just a high-altitude bird, they are found from the lowlands of southern Mexico to Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America. 

It has a gray head with two black stripes along the crown and a black stripe through each eye, what I think of as the design of the University of Michigan football helmet. It has a rufous collar, some rufous on the chest, streaked black and white back and wings with some rufous coloration mixed in and whitish gray underparts. 

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