Overcast skies and a nice breeze made for a more relaxed morning of bird banding, but the flocks of White-throated Sparrows moving through kept us busy. In total we banded 2 Eastern Phoebes, 1 Blue-headed Vireo, 3 Gray Catbirds, 1 Eastern Towhee, 2 Song Sparrows, 1 Lincoln’s Sparrow, 38 White-throated Sparrows, 5 Northern Cardinals. We also had a number of recaptures including a Tufted Titmouse banded 10/8/13, Carolina Wren banded 10/7/12, Gray Catbird banded 10/15/13, Gray Catbird also banded 10/15/13, and a Song Sparrow banded 9/21/11. The wren had actually been first captured and banded at our Botanic Gardens site, but this morning we re-caught it a quarter mile away in Big Hollow.
The phoebes and vireo were special birds this morning, but a Lincoln’s Sparrow captured on the same net run as a Song Sparrow was a great opportunity to see the two species side-by-side! These sparrows are closely related and very similar in many respects. On closer inspection, however, they can easily be told apart from most angles. Jean and Craig Miller took a very nice collection of photos of the two species this morning that show these distinctive differences well.
For more Lincoln’s Sparrow identification tips, and lots more Lincoln’s Sparrow photos check out these other NemesisBird posts:
Lincoln’s Sparrow Bonanza – A photo gallery of Lincoln’s Sparrows
Beautifully Bland – Another photo study of Lincoln’s Sparrows with many other banding photos
Sparrow Shindig! – A nice comparison of fall sparrows by Anna Fasoli
Lincoln’s Sparrow – A short video clip of a Lincoln’s Sparrow by Drew Weber