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.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Listen for Old Sam Peabody

I was excited to see a White-throated Sparrow last week! It's the one bird I watch for to tell me when the weather is about to turn. They show up in mid-Michigan right before the first frost in the fall. They can be spotted hanging around for a couple weeks before they continue to their wintering grounds in the eastern states below Michigan and in small numbers in southwestern states.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons
The White-throated Sparrow is medium sized sparrow with brown streaked upper parts, plain gray underparts, and has a conspicuous white throat and yellow lores above the eyes between black-and-white or black-and-tan stripes on the head.

White-throated like to scratch on the ground with a series of quick kicks when they feed and remind me of chickens. Our regular no-mess blend would be a good choice of food to attract these sparrows as they migrate.

Be on the look-out for the White-crowned Sparrows too. They usually pass through around the same time as the White-throated. Their visits to feeders tend to be early and late in the day.

You may hear the birds before you see them. I always think White-throated Sparrows have a song that sounds like a chickadee yodeling. Birders describe their song as "Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody" and the White-crowned Sparrow says "poor-wet-wetter-chee-zee".
Related Articles:
White-throated Sparrow fun facts http://white-throated-sparrow-fun-facts.html
Sparrows Native to mid-Michigan http://bit.ly/oy9XGz
Which one of these birds is not like the others? http://bit.ly/qM1LQt
What birds winter in Michigan? http://bit.ly/rqQgU2

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