Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lapland Longspurs and Painted Buntings: Maryland's Odd Couple

They look alike, in a buntingly, sparrowish sort of way. Okay, they don't look at all similar, but they are both here in Maryland at the moment. One is rather drab in the winter, so as to blend in with it's habitat. The other looks like a clown painting a rainbow... the full box of crayons... America's own technicolor feathered wonder.

Yes, one bird spends it days foraging in the open corn fields with the likes of Horned Larks. Or, the case may be lately with all this snow... on the side of roads in Queen Anne's County; the LAPLAND LONGSPUR.The other bird summers on the coast of Carolinas down into Texas; the PAINTED BUNTING.During the summer, these most brilliantly-plumaged birds boastfully sing from the tops of any suitable coastal scrub or tree. But in the dead of winter, it's too cold to sing and skulking deep in the brush is preferred. Unless it's time for a snack, in which case a feeder in Bowie will do just the trick.In other news, the blizzards of 2010 brought two great birds to the Haas estate: a FIELD SPARROW and an absolutely magnificent AMERICAN TREE SPARROW. More on those characters in a future post. Until such time, do have yourself a great week. Must fly now...Dan

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You got a much better photo! I took my daughter to see this same bird this morning, he eventually showed up and dazzled us with his colors.

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