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Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow
Photo Information
Copyright: Richard Vincent (earthtraveler) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 427 W: 123 N: 947] (3483)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-05-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Panasonic DMC-FZ50
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/320 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-09-03 20:38
Viewed: 3180
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Song Sparrow
Melospiza melodia

A medium-sized American sparrow.
Adults have brown upperparts with dark streaks on the back and are white underneath with dark streaking and a dark brown spot in the middle of the breast. They have a brown cap and a long brown rounded tail. Their face is grey with a streak through the eye.

In the field, they are most easily confused with its congener the Lincoln's Sparrow, and the Savannah Sparrow. The former can be recognized by its shorter, greyer tail and the differently-patterned head, the brown cheeks forming a clear-cut angular patch. The Savannah Sparrow has a forked tail and yellowish flecks on the face when seen up close.

Their favorite habitat is brushy areas and marshes, including salt marshes, across most of Canada and the United States. In southern locations, they are permanent residents. Northern birds migrate to the southern United States or Mexico, where there is also a local population resident all year round.
The Song Sparrow is a very rare vagrant to western Europe, with a few recorded in Great Britain and Norway.

These birds forage on the ground, in shrubs or in very shallow water. They mainly eat insects and seeds. Birds in salt marshes may also eat small crustaceans. They nest either in a sheltered location on the ground or in trees or shrubs.

The male of this species uses its melodious and fairly complex song to declare ownership of its territory and to attract females.
The song sparrow's song consists of a combination of repeated notes, quickly passing isolated notes, and trills. The songs are very crisp, clear, and precise, making them easily distinguishable by human ears. A particular song is determined not only by pitch and rhythm but also by the timbre of the trills.

Although one bird will know many songs - as many as 20 different tunes with as many as 1,000 improvised variations on the basic theme, unlike thrushes, the song sparrow usually repeats the same song many times before switching to a different song.

Song sparrows typically learn their songs from a handful of other birds that have neighboring territories. They are most likely to learn songs that are shared in common between these neighbors. Ultimately, they will choose a territory close to or replacing the birds that they have learned from. This allows the song sparrows to address their neighbors with songs shared in common with those neighbors. It has been demonstrated that song sparrows are able to distinguish neighbors from strangers on the basis of song, and also that females are able to distinguish (and prefer) their mate's songs from those of other neighboring birds.
Other birds such as mockingbirds are not able to effectively imitate the song sparrow's song.

Source: Cornell Lab of Ornithology
All About Birds…website

ISO 100
F-Stop 5.6
Exp. 1/320th sec.

Thank you all for taking a look and for you who may choose to share your thoughts- I appreciate it.

Patleboss, ellis49, gannu, eqshannon has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Bonjour Richard, superbe phot de ce moineau en train de chanter, le bleu du ciel en arrière plan est magnifique, l'image est très nette avec de bonne couleurs et une superbe composition,

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-09-04 1:12]

Hi Richard,
Splendid shot with fine details on its plumage and nice colour tones. The blue sky as BG looks majestic with the green leaves around and you have captured a fine pose. Excellent POV to portray this scene and very nicely composed. Kudos.

Hi Richard,
you have catured the singing sparrow very nicely,
good POV and fine details. Nice colours and lighting
It's pity it always will be busy surroundings but that's nature.
Well done.

  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-09-04 3:27]

Richard, Very interestin shot. You managed to shoot with lovely expression and eye catch. Very good. Thanks for sharing. Ganesh Smiley tomorrow

There is a very unique quality to the colors in this shot which remind me of old time Kodak film of the 50's and 60's. An amazing trick which either you alone know how to do, or your camera is set in a certain way...well don't change it! It works well.

Hi Richard,
I had to give my eyes a bit time to adjust. I just visisted a dark foggy photo from Evelynn and then opened this wonderful bright sunny photo.
You captured the sparrow in a wonderful pose. Wich seems to be a singing pose. I like the fact that you captured it with much of the twigs and leaves in focus as well. The contrast of the blue sky and the fresh green leaves is perfect.

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