Thursday, December 27, 2012
Zebra Stripped Birds
I enjoy birding, but I don't get out on a regular basis, so my identification skills can be challenged by non-resident birds. Today I went to Smith Berry Winery in Henry County, KY, with my son-in-law, his visiting mother, and the baby. Smith Berry has a sweet red wine which was the only one Brian would drink for some time. His tastes are becoming broader now, but this is his favorite, so we went for tasting. In the summer, it's fun to go to their concerts with music, great food, and wine.
On this winter day, we were greeted by flocks of small sparrows with black and white stripes on their heads. As always, I took photos and checked with the field guide when I got home. I know these birds don't live here all year long.
They came in slightly different colors too, this one having brown stripes instead of black. The field guide says they are White-Crowned Sparrows. The browner ones are the 1st year birds, while the black and whites are adults.
Glad I checked the field guide, since these White-throated Sparrows have similar markings on their heads, but check for the yellow by their eyes, as well as the white throat patch, of course.
Both species breed far to the north of Kentucky, but will spend the winters here. Now that I've compared them, it should be easier to tell them apart next time.