Sunday, February 3, 2013

Chipping Sparrow rolls into Housesparrowville

     Back on April 23-24, 2005 a late winter snowstorm hit the Detroit area, bringing 4.3 inches of snow spread out over the two days.  As much snow as we received, it was only about half of what had been predicted because the temperature at the beginning of the storm was a degree or two too warm and the early precipitation fell as rain.  As the rain was starting to turn to snow on the 23rd, I noticed a chipping sparrow under the feeders in my yard.  Until today that was the earliest in the year that I ever had a chipper in my yard. Range maps show that the closest this species overwinters is Tennessee.  Here are some photos that I took this morning.

Chipping Sparrow leaving the feeder

Kicking up snow

Convenient perch


      Below is the Chipping Sparrow range map from Arizona State University's Ask a Biologist website.  .  It clearly shows how far southeast Michigan is from its normal winter range.

  Ebird maps show that at least 3 other Chipping Sparrows have been seen in Michigan this year.  Two in western Michigan, one near Allendale Twp.  on Jan 5, and one near Holland on Jan. 18.  The third bird was near Saline in Washtenaw county on Jan 27.

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