Friday, December 7, 2007

Abberant Song Sparrow (Groton, Ma. 12/7)

I did a little lunch time birding today and found a nice flock of 150+ Cedar Waxwings off Rte 111 in Groton, at a horse farm. As I walked up to a nearby thicket, I immediately noticed a smallish bird with a bright white forehead, giving the initial impression of a sparrow type bird. Closer inspection revealed it was a Song Sparrow with a white head, but otherwise normally plumaged and gave the typical Song Sparrow "chip" note. I quickly got the camera and binoculars lined up in an attempt for a photo or 2 and managed a few obstructed shots of the bird (below). It perch up nicely a few times, but I have yet to perfect hand-held digi-binning and missed. Sometimes a less than perfect shot will have to do.


A seemingly headless sparrow
A better look at the normal-bodied white-headed Song Sparrow

This is the 3rd white-headed species I have seen this year, an American Robin (see my 4/8/07) entry, a Common Grackle during the spring and today's Song Sparrow.

I saw Pine Grosbeaks in 4 different locations; 3 near Gardner High School (which has 16 crab apple trees LOADED with fruit), at least 3 more at the golf course feeding, 1 in Ashburnham and another 5 or 6 in flight over South Ashburnham. Perhaps we can upgrade this year's flight up to an infestation. The upcoming Christmas counts should be a lot of fun.

2 comments:

PA-Birder said...

Talk about coincidence...today I say a female Cardinal with a mostly white head, but the center line of the head and crest was still an orange-red color.
Vern

Frank said...

Just saw a bird just like this out in Hyannis. Looking out a window I had to run to get the binoculars and then I just got confused to see a song sparrow with an all white head. Weird.