Swamp Sparrow near Bond Head, Ontario: Early May 2020

Recently I commented that the swamp sparrow is one of the most difficult birds to photograph because of its elusive habits.The “birdwatching spirits” must have been listening because while out for a walk here:

I spotted a small bird darting into thick shrubbery. Happily, I was able to find it with my camera and it was a Swamp Sparrow.

Swamp Sparrows have a reddish crown and a white throat patch:

Swamp Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow

The thin striping on the gray breast indicated that this is a juvenile bird.

They also have rufous-coloured wings and tail:

Swamp Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow

That is one of the joys of birdwatching. You NEVER know what you will find next!

Other birds that I was able to photograph:

Canada Geese and goslings
Mourning Dove
Mallard (female)
Turkey Vulture
Common Grackle

Nearby scenes:

former school house

Some botany:

Black Currant (Ribes nigra)
Canada Anemone (Anemone canadensis)
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Marsh-marigold (Calthra palustris)
Red-osier (Cornus sericea)
Lombardy Poplar (Populus nigra)
Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum)
Willow (Salix)
Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)
Water-hemlock (Cicuta maculata)
Violet (Viola)
Trout-lily (Erythronium americanum)
Silver Maple (Acer sachharinum)

Bond Head

Bond Head was named in 1837 in honour of Sir Francis Bond Head, lieutenant- governor of Upper Canada 1836 – 1838. The community was the birthplace of two famous Canadians:

Community Hall
Catholic Church
United Church


Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
But they don’t get around
Like the dandelions do.  – Slim Acres (1913-2009)

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “Swamp Sparrow near Bond Head, Ontario: Early May 2020

  1. George

    Sir Francis Bond Head (1793-1875) was an English soldier, a world traveller, and a prolific author. He was born in Kent, England on January 1st, 1793 and was educated at Rochester grammar school and the Royal Military Academy. In 1811 he was commissioned to the Royal Engineers and stationed in the Mediterranean, where he served in the campaign of 1815. He was present at the battle of Waterloo.
    Many of us know that Bond Head was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada in 1835 in an attempt by the British government to appease the reformers in the colony, such as William Lyon Mackenzie, who wanted responsible government.

  2. Janet Marche

    Miles I continue to enjoy your amazing photographs. The swamp sparrow is such a beautiful little bird and one I’m sure I would not see out on my own. Thank you for taking us on all these educational walks this spring.


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