Date: 3/8/18 3:42 pm From: Herb and Sarah Myers <hesemyers...> Subject: Sparrows and Other Snow Birds
I enjoyed all of the birds coming to the feeders at the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge today as it blew and snowed heavily off and on almost all day. The birds were mostly Pine Siskins and American Goldfinches. The latter are getting more and more yellow. One siski,n that I saw as well last Saturday, appeared to have a tumor on top of its head. The larger birds were Mourning Doves, European Starlings and Red-winged Blackbirds. The Black-capped Chickadees are ever present at those feeders.
The sparrows were more difficult to identify. The Dark-eyed Junco and Song Sparrows were easy. It was the red-capped sparrows that gave me fits. The first was fairly clearly an American Tree Sparrow. It was about the same size as the Song Sparrows and had a breast spot. I was able to get a photo of it with the Song Sparrows. It returned throughout the day on the ground under the feeders.
There was another red-capped sparrow that was hunkered down on the tray of the hanging feeder. My first hunch was a Chipping Sparrow. It had a fairly dark eye-line and the cap seemed brighter red than the tree sparrow. I couldn't see a breast spot, but it may have not been visible the way it was sitting. It also seemed smaller - more like the siskins that it was with. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see it very long and it never returned - unless it was the tree sparrow? I guess it will remain a mystery. Herb Myers, Harman, Randolph County