This week’s photo, taken December 5, 2013 from our bedroom window in northeast Seattle, WA, features the only WHITE-THROATED SPARROW that I’ve ever seen in our yard.
One day a few weeks ago, as I was walking by our kitchen’s sliding glass door, I glanced outside and scanned the ground along the side of the house for movement (obsessed birders frequently do that). In the back, toward the corner of the yard, a sparrow-like bird is feeding on the ground. My first thought is that it’s probably a Song Sparrow, but it seems to show more white in the head and throat area than a Song Sparrow would. I move to our bedroom in the back of the house for a closer look, and that’s when I realize it’s a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, a common bird in eastern North America, but an uncommon species here in the Northwest.
Our special visitor is not the only bird foraging in our yard that morning. Also present are 2 GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS, a BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, a BEWICK’S WREN, an AMERICAN ROBIN, a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, and half a dozen DARK-EYED JUNCOS. The scene resembles a party. Maybe the other birds organized a festive event to welcome the White-throated Sparrow to the neighborhood.
Yesterday, high above our house, a BALD EAGLE slowly and gracefully carved a few circles in the sky, before gliding west and disappearing from view. Although Bald Eagles are fairly common in our region, that’s the first one I’ve seen from our property. For the year, I’ve identified 37 different yard birds (so far).
Yes, even if a bird doesn’t land in our yard, I will add it to my yard list, as long as I see it or hear it while I’m standing somewhere on our property. Not everybody tallies their list that way, but that’s how I do it.