Lincoln’s Sparrow – South Llano River State Park – April 2022
A pretty Lincoln’s Sparrow visiting one of the bird blinds in South Llano River State Park. I think Sparrows are pretty with their many unique and colorful patterns. They can be a challenge to identify, which makes it even more fun.
A few facts taken from the web: The dainty Lincoln’s Sparrow has a talent for concealing itself. It sneaks around the ground amid willow thickets in wet meadows, rarely straying from cover. When it decides to pop up and sing from a willow twig, its sweet, jumbling song is more fitting of a House Wren than a sparrow. Though its song might conceal its sparrowness, its plumage says otherwise. This sparrow looks as if it is wearing a finely tailored suit with a buffy mustachial stripe and delicate streaking down its buffy chest and sides.
Males defend their territories with song and will threaten intruders with buzzing calls and wing-flapping. When the female is ready to mate, she approaches the male and flutters her wings the way a juvenile bird begs for food. They form monogamous pair bonds during the breeding season, but they do not maintain those bonds the rest of the year. Once on the nest the female is especially secretive. When disturbed, she slips quietly off the nest and runs mouselike with head down through the vegetation for several feet before flying up off the ground.
During migration Lincoln’s Sparrows often associate with other sparrows, including White-crowned, Song, and Swamp Sparrows. In the winter they are usually solitary, but sometimes forage with small groups of other sparrows.
These little sparrows are fun to watch and a challenge to photograph, because they are always on the move.
I took the photo below back in April while camping at South Llano River State Park located in Junction, TX . This Texas State Park is one of my very favorite places to camp and bird.
*A little bit of information about them taken from the web:
~A sharply marked little bird of the arid zones. Black-throated Sparrows are very common in parts of the Southwest, even in some relatively barren flats of creosote bush where few other birds occur; loose winter flocks feed on the ground in open areas, making little tinkling callnotes. In spring, males perch atop low bushes to sing their metallic notes and trills.
~Their status has declined in some areas with increasing development in desert areas; unlike some desert birds, does not adapt well to suburbs. In proper habitat, still widespread and common.
~ Their diet consists mostly of seeds and insects. In general, probably eats more seeds in winter, more insects in summer. Also feeds on fresh green shoots, other green vegetation, and ripe berries and fruits when available. Can survive without water at some times of year, drawing its liquid from insects and green plants that it eats. Young are fed mostly insects.
A few photos of the South Llano River. It is a beautiful place to camp, hike, and bird. People from all over the world make a point of visiting this Texas State Park. And, if you want to enjoy some of the best Texas Hill Country barbeque go to Lum’s. https://www.lumsbbq.com
*A little bit of information about this State Park taken from the web:
Whether on foot or two wheels, explorers will enjoy the 22.7 miles of trails. Trails range from easy to difficult, and cross river bottoms, steep ridges and wooded areas in between.
Rugged back country trails offer solitude even on the busiest weekend. Whether you’d like a moderate hike or a more challenging mountain bike ride, expect great views and a very different experience than in the park’s lowlands.
Keep your eyes open for birds both large and small!
The park is home to one of the largest turkey roosts in Central Texas. Turkeys roost from Oct. 1 through March 31. The day use area is only open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. during these months, so that humans don’t disturb the roosting turkeys.
Bird watchers have recorded more than 250 species at the park over the years. Visit one of our four bird blinds and see what’s there! Download Birds of South Llano River State Park: A Field Checklist (PDF).
Visit our Nature page to learn more.
~~Get out there and enjoy what nature has to offer.
A Symbol of Peace …..
Back in April while camping at South Llano River State Park, I photographed these White-winged Doves.
The white-winged dove is a dove whose native range extends from the Southwestern United States through Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. They are large for doves, and can be distinguished from similar doves by the distinctive white edge on their wings. They have a blue eyering, and red eyes.
On this day, as we remember our fallen heroes, and as we show pride for our free and beautiful country, I hope you have peace in your hearts.
~South Llano River State Park – April 2022
A feathered ember in a desert landscape, the male Vermilion Flycatcher is exactly what its name says: a brilliant red bird that hawks flying insects from conspicuous perches on shrub tops and fences.
This perfectly describes these birds. (taken from All About Birds).
I “chased” these birds around the park for four days. I was able to capture the female pretty well; however, the male was more difficult. He didn’t sit still very long. They are fun to watch. They land on a tree branch and fly up into the air to catch bugs.
Females are delightful in their own way, subtle gray-brown birds with a warm salmon-red blush to the underparts. Though they barely reach the southwestern U.S., this species is common all the way through Central America and much of South America.
I did see a male Vermillion Flycatcher at Torrey Island Campground near Belle Glade, FL. It is listed as rare for this area.
~~ Happy Birding~~