Monday, June 24, 2013

Clay-coloured Sparrow

Clay-coloured Sparrow - Spizella pallida

Clay-coloured Sparrows are the most common sparrow in my garden. These birds feed either on the ground or at the feeders and they are unobtrusive birds, unlike the White-crowned Sparrow, the second most common sparrow in the garden, which struts into the area and scatters all the smaller birds. 
These sparrows nest close to the ground in shrubs by water and although I have not seen a nest, I know the areas where the birds do nest. They are territorial before they establish the nest but then forage and feed amicably once the nest is established. 
If a cowbird parasitizes the nest, the female abandons the nest. 

This Clay-coloured Sparrow was in a Silverberry Bush on a ridge above the Elbow River. Silverberry Bushes are a favoured nesting location.


The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Alberta. Federation of Alberta Naturalists. 2007.

Baicich PJ, Harrison CJO. Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds. Princeton UP. 2005.

Beadle D, Rising J. Sparrows of the United States and Canada. Princeton UP. 2003.

Fisher C, Acorn J. Birds of Alberta. Lone Pine Publishing. Edmonton. 1998.

Sibley David A. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior. Alfred A Knopf, Inc. New York. 2001.

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