The Patron Bird of my Hometown

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.

Dancing Zombie from 2021 Haunted Halloween Trail of Tears

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.

Lincoln's Sparrow found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

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.

Lincoln's Sparrow found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

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).

Lincoln's Sparrow found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

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.

Lincoln's Sparrow found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

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.

Lincoln's Sparrow found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

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)!

Lincoln's Sparrow found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

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.

Lincoln's Sparrow found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in January 2021

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.

15 thoughts on “The Patron Bird of my Hometown”

    1. More love for the Sparrows ha! This one at least has some extra high class, but a little color would go a long way in this family. There are some yellows and white trimmings on some, but I suppose the browns give them some level of deception in the undergrowth. Thanks for coming by B.!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Very nice shots Brian. A bit ironic using such large glass on so diminutive a bird. Another LBJ identified. And a shot for Ron at (of) the end.
    I think I also recognized many of the zombie running shoes on your trail.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Brad! It does feel like a bit of overkill tinning these little ones with The Beast – not to mention trying to keep these Pixie Stick addicts anywhere close to the middle of the focus frame. I like to think our class of Zombies come straight out of the World War Z movie – fast as hell hehehehe. Also goes to how many pairs of shoes I go through in a year – I needs me a sponsor. Appreciate you dropping in Brad and coming to the party – one of the few followers here that has experienced the event in its full glory.

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    1. More admiration for the Sparrows! The mothership has all of the wildlife posts, but is also home to all the misc projects, Halloween thingies and running activities – not to mention the sprinkling of rants and politics that I try (I really really try ha) to limit on the wildlife side.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was able to pull him out of the background in a few of the shots – will not admit how many shots I tossed as they were better Where’s Waldo fodder. Like I was commenting to B. above, they just need some touches of color to help out our cameras a bit ha! Appreciate you coming by Sam.

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    1. Very punky ha! Thank\s on the run wishes – this one is going to test me for sure. I was feeling good until I had a bonk in yesterday’s training run, but today’s went better. Hoping the body was just showing its disdain for two-a-day long runs. This week some simple tapers and then 10+ hours spent in beautiful nature. Appreciate you coming by Lisa!

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