Sunday, February 28, 2016

Bird Break

Text and Photos by Mark Hengesbaugh

Chinned vs. Throated
This winter has been great for sparrows in Sabino Canyon. We are regularly seeing mixed flocks of 30 individuals or more. These seed-huskers are enjoying the bountiful grass that came with the big-time rain we received. My favorite Sabino sparrow this year is the Black-chinned Sparrow (top photo). The adult male's "chin" - below the beak - will turn black during breeding season (April-Aug.) The Black-chinned's name can be confused with the Black-throated Sparrow, another Sabino favorite (bottom photo). But take a look at the all-gray head of the Black-chinned vs. the white stripes on dark head of the Black-throated. No confusion there. The Black-chinned Sparrow is uncommon in Sabino while the Black-throated Sparrow is a year-round resident.

Black-chinned Sparrow

Black-throated Sparrow

Thanks, Mark!

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