Total Pageviews

May 10, 2011

First 'Hummer' + small and big sparrows

The first Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, a male and a female, arrived at the feeders today, on exactly the same day (May 10) as they arrived last year.   The differance was that last year I had the feeders out very early because of warm weather.   This year, because of cold and wet weather, I had only filled the feeders for the first time at 10 a.m. this morning, and two hours later the Hummers were knocking at the door.   The female is pictured above hovering at the feeder for a quick sip, this makes herself comfortable on the perch, followed by a good long swig, at her leisure.   I also noticed the pair of White-crowned Sparrows and several Chipping Sparrows that arrived last week and thought about the difference in their sizes.   I'm sure the ordinary person would think a sparrow is a sparrow is a sparrow...or a LBJ (little brown jobby).   The smallest sparrows (such as the Savannah and Grasshopper) are about 11.5 cm (4.5").   The largest sparrows (such as the Fox, Harris's and White-crowned) are 19 cm (7.5).   That's a difference of just over 65%.   In the case of the Chipping Sparrow and White-crowned Sparrows, pictured below, The White-crowned can weight up to 150% more than Chipping!   And yet, despite the differences in size, markings, songs, behaviours, etc., some people (like me) have a devil-of-a-time sorting their sparrows.   
Chipping Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow
Please comment if you wish.                                                                                     Photos by BarrytheBirder

No comments: