Sunday, August 25, 2013

Singing Black-throated Sparrow at Caballo State Park in New Mexico


On my drive to SE Arizona I stopped at Caballo State Park in New Mexico. There was a recent report that a birder saw a Blue-footed Booby fly towards the lake in the park so I thought I would stop and take a look for it since I was driving by on I-25. I didn't see any bird that looked like a booby but was delighted to find this male Black-throated Sparrow singing his heart out in the desert scrub in this park. Like many male passerines this species sings mostly in association with breeding or territorial behavior. It seems a little late for breeding behavior but I did watch this bird engage in some chasing behavior with what looked like another Black-throated Sparrow. They do have a second nesting in association with monsoonal rains which Birds of North America online states, "Common in years of adequate rainfall and prey items." Though this is later than their documentation, there has been significant monsoonal rains in the area recently.
I also saw another male Black-throated Sparrow in the area. SeEtta