For the record, I’d like to proclaim that it is currently miserable outside. I know this because I had to complete a training run tonight and by mile 2 I looked liked I had taken a swim in the local pool. The truck temp gauge registered 84 but if that was true the humidity must have been adding at least 20 degrees to the “feels like” temp. The remaining 3 miles (a short run tonight) eventually dripped by. At least the body is finally getting some heat conditioning for the upcoming Bix7 race. I mention this primarily because hot days like this remind me of Vegas – we were once there in the 114 to 117 degree range – and when I think of Vegas the memories of the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve now quickly follow. Keeping the string alive, here is ANOTHER new bird for the checklist. Ironically, this happens to be a bird that is local for us .. in fact, one of those birds that typically gets ignored because it is a member of the Sparrow family.
Typically, this translates to a brown and gray bird, medium to small sized with white highlights adorning the wing feathering. Unfortunately, there are at least 20 different species of Sparrows that look nearly identical. Followers of this blog will probably remember cases where a shot of these birds is simply referred to as … a Sparrow. Taking the time to figure out what it is exactly is not a good use of time because after all it is really just a Sparrow. When this adult was spotted hanging out in the brush it looked distinct enough to give a go at classifying it. That meant it was worth taking a few shots – the composition looked appealing as well, especially since it was giving the classic cross body pose (above) that typifies my personal style. Of the three shots, the first one is my favorite with the nicely blurred background and glint in the eye.
This is one of those birds that tends to look quite different depending on your viewing angle. You can really see the crown on the top of the head when looking at it straight on, but from the side it tends to provide a more common domed profile as in the shot below.
Hit the jump to read a little more about this new bird to the Blog
The distinctive striping along that crown was the key factor in classifying this particular bird. A quick view through the Stokes’ Guide identified this specimen as a White Crowned Sparrow. Let’s all take a moment to celebrate the fact that this is the FIRST time we here at LifeIntrigued have managed to successfully identify a Sparrow family member. Since there was a photograph and a proper identification, the check mark can officially be placed on the Bird List – one must abide by the rules or the integrity of the List will be destroyed.
To be honest, there isn’t a whole lot to say about Sparrows. They sport a brownish crown during their 1st Winter … so identifying juvis is once again impossible. According to the region map they cover all of North America at some point in the migration cycle. We catch them down here in the Migration range. Aligning with earlier statements, the AllAboutBirds.org website mentioned the are the “surest sparrow identifications in North America”. I must concur! They also claim their profile is dependent on the bird’s attitude – no details on that but we’ll assume it follows the canine rule – raised hair keep your distance, smooth fur come pet me I’m cute and adorable (or a devious bastard trying to draw you in closer for the jugular lunge). They are insect and seed eaters but there is one interesting characteristic that really caught my interest on Wikipedia.
These birds are being studied for their ability to stay AWAKE for two weeks during migration. And why are they studying this…”for possible human applications” WTF? Can’t way to see those little 5 hour bottles of mainlined energy being filled with White Crowned Sparrow juice – nasty. How about we just take the time to get proper levels of sleep (of course, I’m probably the LAST person that should be commenting on that).
That’s all I have for you on this particular bird. No Folklore about delivering babies or peeing on itself to keep diseases of from rotting flesh. Just a bird that has a sweet song and likes to hang out in the bushes minding its own business. Catch you again soon (trying to stay on top of this unlike the last few months) – maybe after the Bix@6 training run coming up on Thursday.