James A. Meier sent this picture of a chipping sparrow under his feeders at his home in Brighton, Mich., just north of Ann Arbor. I think it could be subtitled A Study in Brown:
James mentioned that the chipping sparrow’s range includes Minnesota and the Dakotas, so Wannabe Birder readers probably have seen one. As it happens, chipping sparrows are the only sparrows I’ve had at my feeders with any frequency this summer. They’ve been pushed away in recent days by a sudden influx of bigger birds — grackles, blue jays, starlings and red-winged blackbirds have been on a feeding frenzy. But a chipping sparrow still will make an occasional brave appearance.
James added this interesting note: "Years ago I had a pair nesting in a clematis climbing on a TV antenna. The nest was about chest high, intricately woven from weedy fibers. I have read that when there were more horses about they preferred horse hair for weaving their nests."
I think horse hair would make a comfy next.
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