White-crowned Sparrow at Seton Park: May 2020

Rain was predicted for the entire day so it appeared that I would not undertake an outing on this day.

However, there was a let up for a little over an hour at noon, so I rushed out to Seton Park in East York and here is what I was able to photograph.

Junction of West & East Don Rivers
Animal den opening

Some botany:

Cow-parsnip (Heracleum maximum)
Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea)
Violet (Viola)
Ostrich Fern fiddlehead
Celandine (Chelidonium majus)
Goutweed (Aegopodium podograria)
Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)
Basswood (Tilia americana)
Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis)
Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna)
Riverbank Grape (Vitis ripiaria)
Apple (Malus)
Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis)
Trout-lily in seed (Erythronium americanum)
Alternate-leaved Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
White Spruce pollen cones (Picea glauca)

The White-throated Sparrow has a lovely, whistled song which is sometimes rendered as “Dear, sweet, Canada, Canada, Canada.”

White-throated Sparrow (Tan-striped adult)
White-throated Sparrows (Tan-striped adults)
White-throated Sparrows (Tan-striped adults)

In addition to hearing and seeing these birds, I heard a song which contained a white-throat-like whistle but which then degenerated into a series of husky buzzes. I remember hearing this same call in Moosonee. It was as if the bird had one singing lesson with a white-throated sparrow but then decided not to bother learning the rest.

This is the White-crowned Sparrow.

White-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow

Other birds:

Red-winged Blackbird (female)
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
European Starling
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Ring-billed Gull
Canada Geese
“displaying” Rock Pigeon
Northern Flicker (male)
American Robin
Baltimore Oriole (male)
American Goldfinch (male)
American Goldfinch (female)
American Goldfinch (male)


May is bee in blossom,
May is birds a-nesting,
May is picking violets on a hill;
May is young and twenty,
May is Sunday-besting,
May is eager Jack and willing Jill.     – The Old Farmer’s Almanac 1961

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “White-crowned Sparrow at Seton Park: May 2020

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Yet another one of my favorite places to hike, which I cannot see at present. I miss it so much! Thank you, Miles, for letting me see it, and the many beautiful things to be found there, this way. I am so very grateful to you for this!


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