Song Sparrow on a bitter cold winter day

/, Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, Song Sparrows, Utah/Song Sparrow on a bitter cold winter day

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.



  1. [email protected] December 16, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Now *that* is cold. When I was looking up ways to heat our hummingbird feeder during Seattle’s deep freeze, I came upon a product review by someone from Alaska who said that a particular brooder heater was “wimpy” because it gave out at minus 40. I thought, okay, I am a winter wimp. I’m not sure what I’d do with minus 40 or minus 12. Layers and hand warmers? 😉

    I can’t remember what my camera and lenses are rated to in terms of temperature. Any problems with yours or are you photographing from inside the car?

  2. Julie Brown December 12, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Amazing how they adapt, but as long as they can get food they stay. Nice pose and detail.

  3. Elephant's Child December 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Such tiny little powerhouses. Good luck to it.

  4. Bryce Robinson December 10, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Songs Sparrows sure are hardy little birds. What a neat posture you’ve captured Mia. Keep warm!

  5. Lois Bryan December 10, 2013 at 9:30 am

    gorgeous … wonderful capture of wing-spread pose … and of course the snow sparkles add a lovely touch!!!

  6. Bob Bushell December 10, 2013 at 5:34 am

    How lovely, it’s making a headline to the snow.

  7. Montanagirl December 10, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Sure is a cute little thing.

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