Sparrow mania October 13, 2007
The last couple of days I have been fortunate enough to be out in the field, enjoying not only great botany but sparrows as well.
Ohio Bird's list-serve has reported mega-rarities today, like they were normal occurrences. This seems to be the week all the sparrows that summer in Canada are migrating through Ohio, and everyone wants to see a LeConte's or Nelson's Sharp-tailed. For the uninitiated, rare sparrows may be hard to identify and a little over-whelming. Sorting sparrows must seem like sorting sedges. But remember, just as sedges have a beauty of their own and a place in the grand scheme of things, sparrows are unique and important too. They are major seed dispersers.
The above pictured Lincoln Sparrow, Melospiza lincolnii is a wetland enthusiast as well. This little brown job with the gray "eyebrows" and face is an effective little distributor of tickseeds and smartweed seed. Although seldom noted, birds are very effective at spreading seed south along their fall migration path and are just one of the many ways plants get their seeds moved around.