Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fox Sparrow and Cardinal

It's cloudy today with snow flurries and the temperature reaching 31 degrees by 2:00 p.m. I'm looking forward to the warm up the next couple of days when the temperature may reach a high of 47 degrees! That will feel like spring after the long cold spell of the past week.

Northern Cardinal January 8, 2010

This female Northern Cardinal hid in the burning bush (a non-native loved by bees and the birds) while a sharp-shinned hawk was nearby. The hawk was in an oak limb above the feeder just waiting for the birds to come back. The birds in the surrounding trees and shrubs froze until the hawk flew off.

Fox Sparrow January 9, 2010

This Fox Sparrow fluffed his feathers to keep warm the other morning. I counted 6 fox sparrows below the feeder the other day, vigorously digging in the soil. These birds are easy to spot because they're larger than the white-throated sparrow, also a winter visitor. They will migrate later this spring to the boreal forests of Alaska and Canada. So, I guess they think it's summer here in Virginia.


  1. I will be very happy when our warm up starts. It is COLD here tonight. LOVE the female cardinal...I find that they are one of the shy birds and very hard to capture. I dont' think I've had any fox sparrows here. Would love to see them :)

  2. Oh you lucky duck. I had a Fox Sparrow in my yard two years in a row, the week of Feb 22 both times. Last year, no show. I only remember the date because it was the week of my birthday. I love those guys but they are a bit rare around here. Beautiful captures and of course, I love Red! :-) I hope the warmer temps predicted arrive for a bit, but I would like a little more snow too...

  3. Beautiful photographs. I hope the weather predictions are correct. I'm sick of this cold and icy snow.

  4. Kerri--I agree that the cardinals are shy. Every time I think I have a clear shot, they fly away. Fox sparrows like wooded areas so that's maybe why they hang around here.

  5. Kelly--I love the fox sparrows--something about the way they dig. And, they always come the same time of year--usually late January and stay until March.

  6. NCmountainwoman--yes, I am so sick of the cold. Looking forward to tomorrow--I think it might rise above 50 here.