Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Know That Sound!

There are few birds (other than typical backyard birds) that I'm able to ID by sound. I'm not sure why, but I'm just horrid at remembering and recognizing bird calls. My bird friends are as stymied as I am as to why I simply cannot remember what redstarts sound like from year to year. Or Nashville Warblers, which sing like crazy here in the spring.

But this LBB is one that I can actually locate based on hearing its call as I drive by: The Clay-colored Sparrow.

It's sharp, buzzy call is, to me, highly distinctive and seems to carry quite far. Have a listen.

Clay-colored Sparrows are somewhat unique in that they're a mid-continent bird. Found on their breeding territory in open grasslands throughout the northern regions of central North America , they follow almost a due south migration path that funnels to Texas and Mexico. Here's a great distribution map.

Right now they're dotting the fence posts and clinging to barbed wire along a stretch of roadway I drive daily.

I have to admit that when I'm driving past the wild grassland fields by my house and hear their "bzzzzt" calls I gleefully think to myself "aha! I know that bird call." (simple pleasures, people... simple pleasures...)   ;-)

Be sure to check out all the other fun birding sights and stories courtesy of Wild Bird Wednesday!


  1. A little beauty!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  2. Hi ... First of thanks for your comment on my post!!
    I just love the face on the first one , how cute is that!!
    Thanks for introducing me to the Clay Sparrow!!
    We don't have the Clay, but have many other Sparrow's and some of them I do have a problem with to ID, otherwise I do pretty good with knowing the bird songs!!
    The Chipping Sparrow is my very favorite, and are around the house constantly so tiny with such a long drawn out trilling song!!

    Thanks Again

  3. Brilliant pictures. Having listened to their call via the link, I can see why anyone would quickly learn what a Clay-coloured Sparrow sounds like.

  4. they're truly beautiful! i'd have surely associated that sound with an insect - whether some form of cricket, locust, or cicada, though!

  5. Great photos of the special sparrow on the fence post.

  6. Fantastic shots! The barbed wire and background are awesome! These little guys really stand out.

  7. Beautiful photos of the sparrow.

  8. It is a beautiful sparrow! Lovely shots. It would be a new bird for me!

  9. I love the feather pattern Tammi. What a gift to be able to identify all the Sparrows that all sort of look alike!!!

  10. Such a cute little thing! I am beginning to identify bird sounds, too. It's quite amazing.

  11. Lovely shots of this pretty little bird.

  12. Recognizing birds by their sounds is a tricky thing for me. I'm reading a book called "The Singing Life of Birds" by Donald Kroodsma that tells how, when, why, and where they sing.

  13. Nice crisp shots. My favorite bird sound memory is a Violin bird in Costa Rica. They sound like one.

  14. That Clay-colored is a nice find! I never see them when I set out to find one-- they just pop up unexpectedly. i still have never hear their song.

  15. Nice looking bird! One of the problems I have in Australia, is that some birds her sound like ones back in the UK - and the UK ones were common, so I have had to relearn to listen for them!

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW

    Stewart M

    1. pffft. I can't memorize the ones in my state, let alone my country - let alone TWO countries! You have a keen ear/brain relationship, Stewart!

  16. Such a pretty little sparrow and so beautifully photographed! I know they migrate through our area but I have yet to see one. I too am bird song challenged.

    1. Thanks, Julie. You're going to be walking through Lincoln Park some day and hear this "bzzzzt bzzzt" and you'll know exactly what it is. :-)

  17. Every bird you know by call is a friend for life! Sweet shots!

    1. What a great saying, Cindy! I'm going to remember that :-)

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