Chipping Sparrows (Spizella passerina ) are the smallest sparrows that visit Leaning Oaks. They are uncommon summer visitors here, and to our knowledge have not bred on our property, although we have seen newly fledged young very close by. This year provided our earliest spring record, with a pair on the lawn eating dandelion seeds on 23 April. Our latest record in the year is the 2oth of July, so they don't linger here very long. I have spent a lot of time listening to recordings and searching for calling Chipping Sparrows, some of which sound an awful lot like (some) Dark-eyed Juncos. Despite diligent study, I still make mistakes and feel far more sure of an identification when I see the bird involved. Small, dapper and pale with a bright rufous cap, they don't look anything like a junco - fortunately.
Two biologists on a beautiful property armed with cameras, smart phones and a marginal knowledge of websites took up the challenge of documenting one species a day on that property. Join along! Posts and photographs by Leah Ramsay and David Fraser (unless otherwise stated; started January 1, 2014.