Weaver Finches at the Bluffs: February 14, 2022

Weaver finches are a relatively large family of 156 species of perching birds and are native to Africa, Madagascar, Eurasia, and Malaysia. In the 1850’s, one species of this family, the Passer domesticus was introduced to North America. The common name for this species is the House Sparrow.

We saw several on a street near the Scarborough Bluffs on the sunny and -16 degree morning.

House Sparrow (female)
House Sparrow (female)
House Sparrow (male)
House Sparrow (male)

Other birds:

Downy Woodpecker (female)
Canada Goose
Canada Goose

Area scenes:

St. Augustine’s Seminary

Some botany:

Cow-parsnip (Heracleum maximum)
Cow-parsnip (Heracleum maximum)
Red Ash (Fraxinus pensylvanica)
Manitoba Maple (Acer negundo)
Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis)
Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)

Today’s group:


Hi Miles,
If you’re looking for poetry suggestions, here’s one for tomorrow, from Chaucer’s Parliament of Fowls. As you probably know, back in the Middle Ages Saint Valentine’s Day was thought to be the start of the mating season for birds. All the birds, not just the smale foules, are looking forward to the warmer weather. So are we.

“Saynt Valentyn, that art ful hy on-lofte,

Thus syngen smale foules for thy sake:

Now welcome, somer, with the sonne softe

That hast this wintres wedres overshake.

modern translation:

Saint Valentine, great triumph you have won,
And little birds are singing for your sake:
Now welcome, springtime, with your gentle sun
That wintry weather milder soon will make.

Miles Hearn

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