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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Fox Sparrows

Fox Sparrow at our feeder in NH

Note rufous color on body and tail

This individual has a prominent breast dot

There has been a big influx of Fox Sparrows into NH recently. We were feeling left out, but finally, 4 Fox Sparrows showed up at our feeders. The birds at our feeders had that wonderful foxy color. Not all subsecies of Fox Sparrow are this rufous, some are considerably darker. One of the eastern subspecies of Fox Sparrow (Passerella iliaca iliaca) is the most rufous. In the last month the NH Birds list serve has reported over 130 Fox Sparrows from over 30 different towns in NH. Since the weather has been so unusually cold and snowy, maybe we're more aware of them because they're showing up at feeders, or maybe there's just a large "fall-out" occurring.
Whatever the reason, we're always thrilled to get a close look at these large, beautiful sparrows. Look carefully at the sparrows at your feeders and see if you have any Fox Sparrows.

Photos @ Lillian Stokes, 2007

1 comment:

Nancy Castillo said...

Our Fox Sparrows returned April 5th. I too noted their size difference, coloration, and behavior when I highlighted them on our website, www.wbu.com/saratogasprings.
Song Sparrows returned earlier, around March 25th, and American Tree Sparrows are still visiting.
I read in "Birds of New York State" by Budliger/Kennedy that Fox Sparrows don't sing in migration. We have Fox Sparrows that haven't read the book - their song is wonderful.