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Winter Sparrows

Field Sparrow

On Sunday January 17th, 2016 Mark Macaulay and a neighbour went birding and came across a lone Field Sparrow. This bird is listed on our NB Bird list and is tagged "m*" which apparently means: migrant; “rare but annual and infrequent or exceptional breeder". Mark had not seen one before and was very pleased at seeing a newbie in the dead of winter. It may not be a snowy owl but a new one on Mark’s list all the same.  Mark got an excellent photo of was quite the cooperative poser.

“Rare migrant and very rare summer resident; very rare in winter.  The first preserved report was of one on Grand Manan from 3 to 5 July 1935.  Males singing on territory have been found in brushy fields at widely scattered locations including Fundy National Park, Renous and Dalhousie but breeding has been confirmed only twice.  A nest with young was found in Fredericton in 1972 and a fledgling at Brockway in 2001.  An exceptional flock of 20 were reported at Kent Island on October 18th 1935.”

From:          Birds of New Brunswick: An Annotated List*, p. 68

* (Available from Nature Sussex)


Lark Sparrow

Also in January 2016, Jim Wilson visited Meredith Drive with hopes of seeing the Lark Sparrow that Mark had been reporting at his feeders. Though he didn't see it there Mark told him of another neighbour's feeder and he saw it there. He was happy! It is not listed in Breeding Birds of the Maritimes but
Birds of New Brunswick: An Annotated List* contains the following:

Rare fall visitor, casual in spring and early winter.  A few Lark Sparrows wander to New Brunswick in late summer and fall each year.  The first record appears to be of a male collected at North Head (Grand Manan) on 13 August 1923.  There are more than 100 records, most from the Grand Manan archipelago, but also from other costal locations north to Miscou Island.  Individuals have survived into early winter at feeders in Sackville and Lameque.  In spring it has been found four times along the Fundy Coast. (p. 68)

* (Available from Nature Sussex)



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Last modified: 04/04/17