<< Previous Next >>

In deep thought

In deep thought
Photo Information
Copyright: Angelina Deans (angybone) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1047 W: 14 N: 2372] (7684)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-03
Categories: Birds
Camera: OLYMPUS E-500, Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm 1:4-5.6
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/400 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-05-03 17:05
Viewed: 4038
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The White Crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) is notable because of its song..or rather its unique dialects. According to the Cornell Bird site "Because male White-crowned Sparrows learn the songs they grew up with and do not travel far from where they were raised, song dialects frequently form. Males on the edge of two dialects may be bilingual and able to sing both dialects."

From Wiki on Animal Behavior:

"To learn their language, humans and white crowned sparrows follow similar steps, recognition, practice, and clarity. The best time for a human to learn their language is from toddler to twelve years old (Macdonald) and the best time for a white crowned sparrow to learn its song is between 10-50 days from when they were born. Both genes and environment play roles in determining the way each communicate (Alcock 25).

The first step for humans and white crowned species in learning their language can be considered recognition. White crowned sparrows and humans listen to a tutor before they begin to communicate their language. The tutor teaches the language and the particular dialect, according to the area. Just like humans, the sparrows also have a dialect depending on where they live. A white crowned sparrow has certain genes that only allow them to learn its own speciesí songs. Experiments have been performed in which the sparrow was kept in isolation and played tapes of other song sparrows, the white crowned sparrow will not imitate the other speciesí song, but will sing an odd song unlike either speciesí song (Alcock 24-25). Humans also cannot communicate with each other using a different speciesí language. A study was done in Avignon, France that observed children who were brought up by wolves. It was observed that the children spoke no language at all. Before studies of this kind were done it was thought that the children might learn to communicate with the wolves, just like the Tarzan story. This is not true, the children could not speak the human language nor the language of the wolves (Macdonald). It is a combination of environment and genes that tell white crowned sparrows and humans to learn their proper language. Genes tell the species to only learn the language of their own species and environment plays a factor in determining which dialect each will use.

Once the white crowned sparrow or infant has recognized its species, song, they can begin to practice the language. Infants first communicate by making sounds. The sounds can range from grunts to sounds that mimic their surrounding environments. For example, before babies can say words, they might say moo- moo when looking at a cow. After sounds come words. By the time the infant reaches one year, they should be making sentences out of words (Macdonald). The white crowned sparrow also does not immediately master its song. The sparrow will first sing a short subsong derived from the tutorís full song. The sparrows keep practicing their subsong just as infants practice their words. After the sparrow has mastered its subsong it can start to form a full song. In both species it is necessary for them to hear themselves in order to vocalize their language correctly (Alcock 26).

In conclusion, both white crowned sparrows first listen and recognize their particular speciesí language. A white crowned sparrow has a tutor to teach the song. Infants usually have parents that teach them their verbal language. Then they must practice the language, starting off slow with sounds and building up. Both species will continue to improve and clarify their language throughout their lives."

gracious, NinaM, CeltickRanger, eqshannon, oscarromulus, haraprasan, Alex99, pablominto, gannu, jaycee, tuslaw, Jamesp, Luis52, parthasarathi has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hello Angy,
Nice to see your beautiful posting once again!
many thanks for sharing this beautiful Sparrow with a thought!
good closeup in clarity, natural colour and details
take care and best regards

hello Angelina

beautiful image of the White Crowned Sparrow with fine POV,
DOF et framing, lovely smotthness of the composition,
excellent sharpness and details of the plumage,
a little catch-ligth at the eye it would improve the image, TFS


Smarty:-) You hide for a bit then come out with a super image like this.....I guess it is the Angy Technique...I can see some major differences in the way you post and PP or take this shot...an interesting change...Tres'....good buddy..Hey I get a CB radio on Monday. go get a CB...We shall talk "Skip"

WOW... What a BEAUTY!!!
You are getting better & better at this as time goes by.
Are you related to Johnny Walker??? Ha, ha. It's 170 years old .... and still GOING STRONG.
Lovely work.
Warm regards,

Hi Angy
Great close up of this sparrow. He is thinking hard about some thing. LOL
Well Done!!! TFS

Hi Angelina,
A nice capture of this beautiful crowned sparrow. Excellent composition sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Angelina.
Now that was an interesting read.You have a good pose, and the branch it is on compliments it with the textures.
In mornings when I would work outside, I made a call with a shrill whistle and these would call back, and get closer each time.
The key of whistle has to be right, or they do not call back.
It is either this one or a black capped chickadee...they look similar.blah blah....lol.
Hope you had a nice weekend.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-05-04 4:37]

Hi Angelina.
You have selected a nice but very difficult for shooting contrast scene. However you have exposed image very well. I like impressive magnification, excellent details of the bird and branch, perfect POV and framing. However, it seems to me it would be better to correct lights and shadows and level of contrast a bit. TFS and best wishes.

Hello Angelina,
A lovely little fellow with high cutie factor!
Small but beautiful, hehehe...
A fine point of view and good details in the plumage, a well balanced composition!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-05-04 6:35]

Hello Angelina, Excellent caption and lovely shot. The mood of the bird conveys 100 msgs. Excellent sharpnes. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-05-04 7:01]

Hello Angy, your picture is stunning, I love those birds and they arrived here last week. And isn't it strange that I don't know how they sing? They are mixed among the white-throated sparrows and the juncos and they all sing along. Your picture is beautiful and sharp, with a great background. I really like the few leaves in the background, it adds a nice touch. Thanks also for the most interesting notes, bye bye!


pts tomorrow

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-05-04 9:17]

Hi Angy,

I love these little white crowned sparrows. They congregate around my feeder late every afternoon. They rarely pose like this - just go to the feeder and then hide under a bush. I don't think I've ever heard them sing. A nice shot showing off his white crown, yellow beak and pretty wings.


  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-05-04 13:28]

To sing or not to sing????Hey Angy,
This guys seems to be in a pensive mood..., so did you hear him sing...i would have loved to hear the song...these sparrows are so beautiful.isnt it...i love the chirpy house sparrows that are almost part of my family and here you are with your version of a singing sparrow....very good close -up although there's a slight noise the details are very well seen.The notes are quite informative.
Well done my dear
TFS & Cheers

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-05-04 13:50]

Hi Angy,
a perfect title considering this guy's pose and the look on his face! :-)
A beautiful image too.
The colours are very natural and the light is great!
Sharp with good detail.
Superb composition too.
A very nice shot!
Well done!


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2008-05-04 17:55]

Good shot Angelina of this White Crowned Sparrow.
It's ironic that you posted it at this time, because I just watched a show earlier this morning on either National Geographic or Animal Planet channel that featured this little bird.
Very nice job. Great notes!

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-05-04 22:54]

Hi Angelina,
Excellent shot of this cute Sparrow and you have skillfully managed the available lighting. Nice pious pose captured with very impressive sharpness and colours. I would have loved to hear it sing too. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-05-05 23:07]

Hi Angelina

A great close-up shot - good composition and POV with good colour and superb detail. Well observed and captured.

Just back from Ireland - sorry missed some postings. Thanks for taking the 'Longing for Spring' to 100!


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-05-07 20:20]

Hola Angelina.
I am back again here. I spend some days with My famliy in a short vacation, and i miss all of You.
Great photo of this lovly bird. It has a beautiful colors and what a great pose just for You. The note is very interesting Angelina.

The White Crowned Sparrow captured in your frame proved your love to nature. Thanks.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-05-25 7:23]

Hello Angelina,
Nice to see a post from you again!! I love this beautiful Sparrow and you've got a very nice close shot here. I like its pensive pose and the leaves in the background. Fine colours and well composed too.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Calibration Check