Did you know the bird pictured in last week’s puzzler? Is it one you have seen before, maybe at your own bird feeder?
It is a bird called a Fox Sparrow. Fox Sparrows often hang out with other sparrows but you may have never seen one even though they are common. That’s because they like to feed under or near dense vegetation, spending most of their time on the ground. They have a characteristic “double-scratch” habit where they hop forward then immediately hop backward, looking for food. During the breeding season food is mainly insects and invertebrates but in winter and migration they add plant material like seeds, fruit and buds. (Other sparrows and towhees also use this motion when looking for food)
Fox Sparrows are plump-looking sparrows with thick bills and medium length tails. As you can see from the picture, they have streaked breasts and reddish-gray backs.
If you want to read more about them, check out this page from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
If you want to test your knowledge at the next puzzler, CLICK here. …And happy weekend!