Song Sparrow on a bitter cold winter daySong Sparrow on a bitter cold winter day – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 500, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Yesterday the lowest temperature I saw at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area was -12F which reinforces the thought that “bird photography isn’t for sissies” and that winters in Utah are hard on the birds. It was bitter cold and early in the morning most of the birds were either laying low or trying to warm up as the sun rose.

Some of the first birds to start flying around and foraging are the sparrows and they can be seen flitting from the phragmites, pigweed, fences and grasses or foraging along the road where vehicles have stirred things up. The tiny Song Sparrow above was foraging a distance from the road when I photographed it and although this is a rather large crop I sure liked the birds pose. There are tracks in the snow behind the bird and I suspect that some pheasants might have been foraging for seeds on the plant the Song Sparrow is perched on and that the sparrow was looking for any seeds they left behind to eat.

Our Utah winters are hard on birds especially with sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow on the ground but these tiny Song Sparrows survive and thrive.