Chipping Sparrows, to me, look like American Tree Sparrows — or vice versa. Both have sparrow brown markings and red heads, but while Tree Sparrows have red lines by their eyes, Chipping Sparrows have black lines. (Yes, I know; a proper ornithologist would provide a more detailed, technical explanations and mention details like the Tree Sparrow's half yellow beak, but a proper ornithologist, I am not.)
|The Chipping Sparrow, with its red cap. © SB|
The Chipping Sparrow winters in the southern U.S., and summers in the rest of the U.S. and in Canada. Sensible migration!
I was intrigued to learn that some call them the "Hairbird" because of their habit of lining their nests with hair — smart birds! Audubon Birds (the app that's linked to eBird) says horse hair was a former favourite, but as Chipping Sparrows rarely see horses these days, they have been seen to "pluck strands from the coat of a sleeping dog." (I must brush my yellow dog Ginger more; when I brushed her a few days ago, I put her shed hair in a cleft of lilac branches and it soon vanished — though I doubt this lovely redhead took that prize.)
What is this? Chipping Sparrow .
Location: Backyard, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Photo date: May 17, 2013.