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White-crowned sparrows; rain

02 Feb 2019

I have added another bird to my local list: the white-crowned sparrow. A flock of about 12 have taken up residence. They spend a good part of the day hanging out in the back yard by the driveway. There is a corner of a fenced yard with a dead tree, a chopped down tree trunk with branches, dead grass and dead tumbleweeds. I guess they are finding something to eat in there, as well as shelter because they appear to be foraging. But I am also throwing out big handfuls of birdseed onto the gravel drive every day or two, and they are coming out to hop around and eat so I can get a good look — though so far no good photos. I think they go over to the church across the street to perch in the big pine trees at night.

It’s been raining hard since sometime last night. Weather Underground shows 1/3 inch of rainfall so far. For an area that averages 4 inches a year, that’s significant. It is making big puddles that will take days to soak in — and the sparrows are taking baths in them.

At 53 F with 17 mph wind, you would think they would try to stay dry. But no, they are relishing the fresh water.

Other local birds have been the female Calliope hummingbird, a pair of Eurasian collared doves that also come to my birdseed, and a pair of crows that don’t come into my yard but fly over and perch on nearby telephone poles.


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Gardener

ves

Amargosa Valley

United States



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