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January 4, 2014 / Rae Spencer

January Birds

The yard was full of birds today. Flocks arrived in waves, flashing in and out of patches of sunlight as they foraged. Rather than braving the cold, I sat in the window with my camera and enjoyed a long, quiet afternoon in the warmth of our kitchen.

Starling Jan 4

Robin Jan 4

Dove Jan 4

Cardinal Jan 4

The chickadees, warblers, and woodpeckers were too busy to stop for photos, but a small flock of sparrows spent nearly an hour grazing in the half-frozen grass and weeds. They stayed in a part of the yard that had already fallen into shade, pointedly avoiding sunlit areas.

Sparrow Jan 4

(There were four of these little sparrows, and I’ve had no luck identifying them. Chipping Sparrows? Swamp Sparrows? Am I getting close? Please comment if you can help!)

Sparrow Jan 4

Sparrow Jan 4

Tomorrow is forecast to be a bit warmer with lots of sunshine. I wonder if the birds know?


  1. Gillian / Jan 4 2014 7:11 PM

    Hi Rae, I’m pretty sure these are non-breeding Chipping Sparrows. Swamp Sparrows are rather true to their name and wouldn’t be found in a backyard garden. I usually don’t see them in this plumage…they breed in my neighbourhood and bring their young to my feeder. I can’t wait till they come back!

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