Antelope Island American Tree Sparrow – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I’m seeing more American Tree Sparrows than I’ve seen since I moved to Utah in 2009 and I hope that means they had a very successful breeding season in 2017. On Antelope Island State Park yesterday morning I saw so many of these sparrows that I lost count as I observed and photographed them as they foraged, chased each other and flew from one bush to another. Off in the distance I saw fifteen or twenty of them chasing each other around a greasewood, I wish I had been closer to that action!
By the way, a group of American Tree Sparrows can be called a “grove”.
American Tree Sparrow up close – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
When this sparrow flew in and landed on a wild sunflower stalk I was able to take a little over 30 photos of it up close. I loved the great views I had of the bird’s bicolored bill.
This species does not breed in the lower 48, it breeds in northern Canada and Alaska.
Foraging American Tree Sparrow – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
When early European settlers first saw these sparrows they were reminded of the Eurasian Tree Sparrows they had seen in their home country and that is how this species got the common name of American Tree Sparrow even though they are ground birds who nest and feed on the ground.
There are small populations of introduced Eurasian Tree Sparrows in North America on the St Louis, Missouri area. I haven’t spent much time in that area so I have not seen them here in the United States but I have seen them in Germany where I spent much of my life as a child.
The more I see and photograph American Tree Sparrows the fonder I have become of them, their soft calls and their subtle but beautiful appearance.
Life is good.