Well, I survived the big Halloween event. Per tradition, I’ll be putting up full posts on the behind the scenes work it takes to put up and take down our Haunted Trail of Tears (link here) and, of course, the day and night walkthroughs. This one took a lot out of me. I stopped adding up all the hours involved and now just measure by pounds lost – this year is an 8. Yep, 8 pounds shed battling the zombies and other things that go bump in the night.
This abomination already took an unsuspecting victim and getting ready to haul it off to the dinner table. Pretty sure what makes our living dead variety so dangerous is their running shoe supplier hehehehe. Still have a lot of the props to pack away, but now the focus turns to the quickly approaching 50 mile ultra trail run. In about a week and a half I’ll be putting this body to the test – definitely need to get that weight back, but that will be difficult now that I’m in the final two-a-day training regimen. While I am resting between bookend long runs, thought I would go ahead and try to close out September with another post.
Hit the jump to read a bit more about a bird that fits right in with my hometown of Springfield IL.
With the color explosion from the last post, decided to dampen it down a bit and go with a much more muted featured feathered friend. Subdued, muted, dare I say dull, pick your poison for whatever you use to refer to the Sparrow family. I got a lot of push back on my last Sparrow feature. Seems some of you out there actually have a fondness for these little brown jobbers.
I have to admit, this Lincoln’s Sparrow does have a touch of class about it. The streaks are nicely refined and pop very nicely against the tan/buffy highlights on the upper breast and down the sides. There is no distinction between the males and females and I guess by a lack of call out on Cornell’s website, even the immatures and juvis sport the same feathering. Their bills are rather cute and dainty compared to the rest of the Sparrow family. As you can tell from the shot above, they have the ability to raise their crown feathers forming a full Mohawk look that would rival any of the famous punk rockers (move over Travis Barker and for sure John Lydon).
Like many in the Sparrow family, the Lincoln’s happens to be one of those birds that are relatively accessible when it comes to birding. They winter in the southern portion of the US and then migrate up to upper Canada for breeding. From what I can tell from their range maps, some of them also like to hang out along the Rockies. So, if you are in that area, you do not have to rely on the migration paths to spot one of these. Funny enough, I’ve only been able to tin this Sparrow in Texas during the wintering months. My other sighting was at Harlingen Thicket World Birding Center which I featured back in November 2018 (link here). I did get reminded when I looked at that post this Sparrow is supposedly very secretive, rarely coming out from ground cover other than to burst out a song or two before getting its tiny, slender tail out of there. Now I don’t feel as bad about my limited tinnings.
Obviously from these shots, our featured specimen was fine with hunting the more open spaces on the ground. This is primarily due to the abundance of seed at the sighting location. We were at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park near Mission, TX when these shots were taken. You should be very familiar with this particular birding location if you’ve spent any time at all here at Intrigued. One of our go-to places when we head down to Texas to get away from the harsh sting of Midwestern cold spells.
Initially alerted to its presence by a sweet song coming from a nearby bush. I first thought it was a Wren as their songs seem very similar to me. With its trills and buzzes it managed to pull my attention away from the parade of Doves under the Bentsen feeding station. Brought The Beast to bear in hopes of being able to pick out the misidentified Wren out of the background. Unable to detect the hatch pattern of the Wren, I decided to turn back to the Doves – the Ruddy Dove had not revealed itself yet and I didn’t want to miss that (link here)!
Just as I turned away from the curious spot, this Lincoln’s decided to pop out and start foraging for seeds. What do you know, “knauta” Wren hehehe. Decided the Doves could wait a bit and went to work trying to get this little bird captured. Their well camouflaged feathering proved difficult to extract them from the ground clutter. Think maybe the military should consider replacing their uniforms with Lincoln’s Sparrow outfits. Teach the snipers how to whistle like a Wren and they’d be able to walk into harm’s way and safely back out. Hmmmm, on second thought, this Sparrow might be easier to see lugging around a 308/338.
About an hour now before my second run of the day – better wrap this up and grab some nourishment before strapping on the trail shoes and donning the required headlamp. Hope you enjoyed our Mr. Lincoln’s and I’ll see you again next month.