Of sparrows & sapsuckers

Photo by Dan Froehlich.

Lincoln’s Sparrows up at Cash Prairie continued to pose identification challenges for the student

Lincoln's Sparrow. Photo by Dan Froehlich.

banders, illustrating that bird id in the hand is quite different than in the field.  In the hand people use field marks quite different from those often used with binoculars, where habitat, movement and overall shape prove informative, even if often subconsciously.  In the hand, the buff breast band across the the breast streaks is diagnostic for distinguishing LISPs in any plumage from the ever-present Song Sparrows that often breed in the same area.

Williamson's Sapsucker. Photo by Dan Froehlich.

One of the highlights was the Williamson’s Sapsucker we caught at McDaniel Lake early in the adult camp session.  Turns out, WISA family groups are all over the woods around the lake–we’ve been seeing them every day even on trees right in our campsite and at the banding station.  So far, though, almost all the individuals we’ve seen have been males, like this juvie.  Why?

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