Date: 4/3/21 4:49 am
From: Stephen Broker <stephenpaulbroker...>
Subject: [CT Birds] Chipping Sparrow?
This is a good time of year to begin thinking about the seasonal occurrences of our Connecticut birds. Chipping Sparrows are present in Connecticut throughout the year. Each year on the Christmas Bird Count (defined by National Audubon as the period December 14 through January 5) we record between 20 and 60 Chipping Sparrows (in winter plumage) on our 20 state CBCs. However, Chipping Sparrows have been considered rare in Connecticut from approximately the middle of December through the end of March. There is some indication from CBC data that they are becoming a little less rare during a portion of this period. Through the month of April, Chipping Sparrows progress from uncommon to fairly common to common in their occurrence in Connecticut.

The publication “Connecticut Birds by the Season” by Greg Hanisek is an essential reference for all Connecticut birders. An introductory section states in part, “It is hard to overstate the power of seasonal knowledge in helping to make accurate field observations.” Also, “This kind of understanding evolves over time, especially when identity problems cloud the picture.” The publication uses bar graphs with occurrence categories: very rare; rare; uncommon; fairly common; common; abundant, as well as irruptive; breeding; out-of-season; isolated breeding; uncertain seasonal status; historic records. An important section that follows the bar graphs discusses habitat preferences, population trends, and special cases relating to the bar graphs. It is accompanied by photographs by some of our top photographers.

“Connecticut Birds by the Season” first appeared in the January 2005 issue of The Connecticut Warbler. It has since been reproduced as a stand-alone document, most recently in March 2008 with updated bar graphs, and has been available for sale at The Audubon Shop in Madison and The Fat Robin in Hamden. A small number of copies still may be available there. This reference presently is undergoing another update to reflect recent additions to the official list of the birds of Connecticut and changing assessments of frequency of occurrence of each species. Until this update makes it into print one can refer to the scanned copy of the January 2005 Connecticut Warbler on the Connecticut Ornithological Association publications page.

Steve Broker
Cheshire


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