Monday, April 7, 2014

A Lincoln's Sparrow under my nyger feeders, what a surprise

While Lincoln's Sparrows are not rare in south central Colorado, the are not very common with reports more of one or two birds seen more often than multiple birds. I usually find them skulking in vegetation near the Arkansas River as do others who report them on ebird. While I haven't done a thorough search, most of the reports seem to be from parks, ponds, reservoirs and rivers.
So I was quite surprised this afternoon to spot one under my nyger feeders and it appeared it was eating nyger seeds spilled on the ground. I watched it off and on for about 20 minutes as it foraged on the ground then retreated into the thick vegetation I provide near these feeders. I would note that I do have White-crowned Sparrows eating this nyger seed both on the ground under the feeders and also perching on the hanging feeders. Of relevance Birds of North America online states, "Can be attracted to ground feeders during breeding, where both mealworms (Tenebrio spp.) and millet are readily consumed."
Since we have been in very serious drought conditions for several years I wonder if this bird moved up to the residential area in which I live to find seed more common here as we irrigate than in natural areas. SeEtta