Sweetbrier and an American Tree Sparrow in the Rain at Marie Curtis Park / November 27, 2019

Sweetbrier is variously called sweet briar, sweet briar rose, sweet brier or eglantine. It is native to Europe and western Asia. The stems bear numerous hooked prickles:

Sweetbrier (Rosa rubiginosa)

The fruit is a red hip:

Sweetbrier (Rosa rubiginosa)
Sweetbrier (Rosa rubiginosa)

A tea made from these hips is very popular in Europe and elsewhere.

Sweetbrier (Rosa rubiginosa)

Other botany:

Red Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)
Goldenrod gall with chickadee excavation

American Tree Sparrows breed near the Hudson Bay coast and the northern part of James Bay.

American Tree Sparrow

In this part of Ontario it is a winter bird.

American Tree Sparrow

As a child one winter, I helped my grandfather band birds and we banded a few tree sparrows.

American Tree Sparrow

The following winter it returned to exactly the same spot after spending the summer over 1500 kms to the north, an amazing feat!

American Tree Sparrow

Species list: Canada goose, mallard, American black duck, bufflehead, hooded merganser, ring-billed gull, mourning dove, downy woodpecker, blue jay, common raven, black-capped chickadee, northern cardinal, American tree sparrow. (13 species)

Not too many birds on this 6 degree, very windy and rainy morning.

Mallards and “Bib” Ducks
Mallard (female)
Bufflehead (male)

Park scenes:

Today’s group:

Lisa (left) attended every Wednesday walk this fall!


November woods are bare and still;
November days are clear and bright;
Each noon burns up the morning’s chill;
The morning’s snow is gone by night.         – Helen Hunt Jackson (1830–85)

Miles Hearn

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