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Dec 3, 2014

I may see this sparrow all winter

Photo by BarrytheBirder
There was a White-throated Sparrow in my backyard on Monday morning of this week.  It was no big deal, except that it was December 1 and the temperature was right on the freezing mark.   I thought that the White-throated Sparrows had moved through my neck of the woods in mid-November, before moving a bit further south. A straggler, perhaps?   I've just looked at a range map for the White-throated Sparrow in my 1988 Audubon Society Field Guide of North American Birds.   It shows Lake Ontario as the dividing line between the summer and winter ranges of this pretty sparrow.   I then turned to my new Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America and checked the White-throated's range map for 2010. The range map showed the dividing line between the summer and winter ranges as being approximately 40 kilometres above the north shore of Lake Ontario.   That's right where I live.   To me, this is one tiny indication that indeed global warming is allowing a northward movement of the ranges of certain North American birds.   I, for one, am only too happy to have this lovely bird brightening my backyard in the winter months.

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