About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Large brown sparrow-like bird


I’m sure you hear this all the time but love to read your blog. I just happened upon it when I was looking to identify a bird I saw in the yard one day. You really discuss so many things in all your articles about the birds, I kind of got more interested. So after a little research I bought my first bird feeder last month at the local Wild Birds Unlimited. I chose to buy the seed cylinder feeder that you wrote about. It worked out perfect and attracts a lot of birds. We needed to wait a few weeks but now we have lots of new birds! Can you identify these for me? I think the next purchase is going to be a bird book. I didn’t know there were so many birds in my yard. Thank you so much for your help. ~ Bib

Thank you. I’m glad your fist bird feeder was a success. The Wild Birds Unlimited Dinner Bell feeder is still one of my favorite feeders because it’s so easy to clean and as you found out, attracts such neat birds!

The big brown bird with a boldly striped head, spotted wing bars, and creamy breast streaked with brown looks like a female Rose-breastedGrosbeak. The male Rose-breasted Grosbeak has a black hood and back with small white patches on the wings and a white belly with a red bib.

The name “grosbeak” is from the French word grosbec and means “large beak.” They are very common feeder birds at the beginning of spring and late summer, preferring sunflower, safflower, suet, fruit, and nuts. They love seed cylinders.

The little gray bird with a creamy white belly and big, black beady eye looks like a Tufted Titmouse. The Tufted Titmouse is one of my favorite visitors to the cylinder feeder. They are attracted mainly to feeders that offer nuts or sunflower seeds. They also love seed cylinders.

Titmice are active birds often seen flitting about in trees and hanging upside down while searching beneath twigs for insects. Their loud, clear song is why I like to have them around.

Wow, thank you for responding so fast. It’s funny because the male red breasted grosbeak is the bird I saw in the spring that got me hooked on your blog! Now I have the female. Male must be nearby. I’ll keep watching the feeder.

Can I ask one more time? Do you recognize this little brown bird? 

It looks like a Carolina Wren. The size of a sparrow, the Carolina Wren is a relatively large member of the wren family. Male and females look alike, but males are slightly heavier and have longer bills, wings, and tails. The back is dark rusty brown, but the rump is bright rust. The throat and chin are white, and there is a prominent white eye stripe.