Two Birds that Should be Far From Here: December 2020

In spring and summer there are dozens of Song Sparrows at Humber Bay:

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow

In fall, they head south and some reach northern Mexico. Song Sparrows consume large quantities of insects, spiders, and other arthropods in the warmer months. In colder months they look for fruit and seeds.

Fruit and seeds are often not available in wintertime in the Toronto area so It is always a surprise to find a Song Sparrow and I did on this day:

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow

This bird is betting heavily on having humans constantly distributing seed in this park. Another sparrow which occasionally spends the winter near bird feeders is the White-throated Sparrow.

Usually we see them here only during migration.

White-striped White-throated Sparrow

Today there was one mingling with the House Sparrows and devouring bird seed.

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow

There are always some robins in our area in winter and there were on this day:

American Robin
American Robin
American Robin
American Robin
American Robin
American Robin

Other birds:

Downy Woodpecker (male)
Downy Woodpecker (male)
Downy Woodpecker (male)
Long-tailed Duck (male)
Long-tailed Duck (female)
Long-tailed Duck (female)
Red-breasted Mergansers
Red-breasted Merganser (female)
Red-breasted Merganser (male)
Red-breasted Merganser (male)
Common Merganser (female)

Park views:

Sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)

NATURE POETRY

Then came the merry makers in,
And carols roar’d with blithesome din;
If unmelodious was the song,
It was a hearty note, and strong.                            – Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Two Birds that Should be Far From Here: December 2020

  1. Geoff Gooderham

    Thanks for these, Miles! Especially the lovely, crisp picture of the white throat.

    See you in the new year.
    Best,
    Geoff

    Reply
  2. Lisa Volkov

    Of course, I feel sorry for them–well, nature can be harsh, and we’re certainly being reminded of this– nature, nature and humans–with COVID-19. One reason a sign at a pond in Taylor Creek Park asks people not to feed the (Mallard) ducks, because they will depend on humans and expect to be fed in winter.
    Well, humans feed them, and yes, they expect it, and people come here, even in winter. But I also remember them not being around that pond in winter, so I guess they got the memo–that, and the pond being frozen over!
    Beautiful pictures as usual, Miles. Thanks!

    Reply

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