Field Sparrow in the Woods at Dawn: April 2021

If you like bird song, the next six weeks or so are the best weeks of the year. The finest time to hear the most birds is always right around dawn so that is the time that I arrived at Marie Curtis Park:

One bird song stood out as I walked through the forest here: A Field Sparrow.

In southern Ontario, Field Sparrows are usually found in abandoned fields with scattered small shrubs. However in migration, one had chosen to roost in the woods.

Field Sparrow

The pink bill is the most obvious field mark.

Field Sparrow

A conspicuous eye ring is also diagnostic:

Field Sparrow

The Field Sparrow resembles the American Tree Sparrow but that species has a central breast spot:

American Tree Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Field Sparrow

Other birds:

Tree Swallows
Tree Swallow
Tree Swallow
Mallards
Tree Swallows
Tree Swallows
American Crow
Song Sparrow
American Crow
Mute Swan
Brown-headed Cowbirds
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Song Sparrow
Downy Woodpecker

TEST BIRD

I received a letter suggesting that I add an unidentified “test” bird or plant to each post. At the conclusion of the post, I will identify it.

I love the woods at Marie Curtis Park and was pleased to see that the tiny flowers of Beaked Hazel were on display:

Beaked Hazel (Corylus cornuta)
Beaked Hazel (Corylus cornuta)
Beaked Hazel (Corylus cornuta)

Other botany:

Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
water on Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum)
Red-osier (Cornus sericea)
Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
Beaked Hazel (Corylus cornuta)
Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana)

NATURE POETRY

The bluebird knows it is April,

and soars toward the Sun and sings.    – Eben Eugene Rexford (1848–1916)

TODAY’S TEST BIRD

Though this bird is neither black nor has red wings, it is a female Red-winged Blackbird.

Red-winged Blackbird (female)

Miles Hearn


7 thoughts on “Field Sparrow in the Woods at Dawn: April 2021

  1. Brian Whitefield

    I also love the woods and every part of Marie Curtis Park but, alas, with my lifestyle, I will probably never see it at sunrise. How fortunate that I have been able to live vicariously through you. Thank you for this gift that stirs my heart. I trust you realise what profound joy your posts over the past year and more have brought to the recipients and how you have been singlehandedly raising our spirits during this pandemic. Thank you so much and may you be the recipient of many blessings.

    Reply
  2. Catherine Gautry

    It seems that dawn is also the best time to photograph the sky. Beautiful pictures, Miles! I really like the idea of the “test bird”. Maybe one day, I will get the correct answer:-) Thank you for everything you do! Keep well.

    Reply
  3. Debi

    Beautiful post! Love the reflections at sunrise!
    I think I have a field sparrow who has been frequenting my feeder.

    Reply
  4. MICHAEL MELADY

    Just delicious photography at dawn at Marie Curtis.
    Let me add my voice to the chorus welcoming the “test” bird. It’s fun!
    Thanks Miles for all you do for us. Especially at that early hour.

    Reply
  5. Maria Pedersen

    Absolutely love all of your posts. Can’t thank you enough for your time and effort. I rush to the computer to see the daily offerings. Brings joy to my heat and a cheer to my day. Thanks again.

    Reply
  6. Lisa Volkov

    What stunningly beautiful dawn scenes! I love this place anyway, and seeing it in such glorious colours of dawn was spectacular. Loved the birds and botanical details, too. Thanks, Miles!

    Reply

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