Lark Sparrow – Bird of the Day #198

Lark Sparrow / Chondestes grammacus

The Lark Sparrow is today’s Bird of the Day.

Bird of the Day - Lark Sparrow

And it may well be the bird of the year too! Lark Sparrows are fairly common birds on the Great Plains but they are flat-out Rare Birds in Southern Ontario.

So when the news went out on the Kingston bird hotline that Gerard Philips had found one in the City, the QRF was launched. Fortunately I was on my way back from Prince Edward Point so my optics and camera were at hand.

The bird led us a merry chase. We were just getting onto it when a citizen decided to ride his bike up the dead-end path the bird was foraging on. The bird fled the scene and became very alert and elusive. We had a few tantalizing glimpses which were enough to confirm the ID, but after an hour we concluded that a photograph was not going to happen.

I was packing my car when Irwin and Sandra showed up, so being a good Boy Scout I showed them where to look and described the bird’s behaviour. No sooner had I finished and wished them good luck when up popped the bird, which proceeded to go through its full range of poses. 😊

Lark Sparrows breed from BC to Manitoba and through the Midwest States, and winter in Mexico. This bird is in first winter plumage, meaning it was born this year and is new to this migration gig. It seems he may have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque.

Commodore’s Cove, Kingston, Ontario, 24 October 2020.

Bird of the Day #5 – Inca Jay (Green Jay)

Originally posted to Facebook on 13 April 2020.

Bird of the Day - Inca Jay

Here’s a little tropical colour for a grey rainy day. Green Jays are noisy and gregarious jays that can be found in woodlands ranging from the southern tip of Texas down to Bolivia. This individual was seen in the eastern Andes of Colombia.

The International Ornithologists’ Union has split this species into two, with birds from South America now called Inca Jays. But the ever-stodgy American Ornithological Society does not agree.

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