BirdNote®: Brewer’s Sparrow, Sageland Singer
Air Date: Week of July 15, 2022
A Brewer’s Sparrow sings lustily in the American West. (Photo: © Tom Munson)
One of the most musical and complex bird songs in the US is that of the Brewer's Sparrow. It's a veritable aria, ringing out from the sagebrush of Eastern Washington's Columbia Basin. BirdNote®’s Mary McCann has more about this sageland singer.
CURWOOD: It’s Living on Earth, I’m Steve Curwood.
CURWOOD: In the wide-open spaces of the American West, a dusky brown bird holds forth with an impressive song. BirdNote®’s Mary McCann has more about the sage land singer called the Brewer’s Sparrow.
Brewer's Sparrow, Sageland Singer
[Long song of the Brewer’s Sparrow]
Every spring, one of the most musical and complex bird songs on the continent rings forth from the sagebrush of the Columbia Basin in Washington State.
The Brewer’s Sparrow, a migratory songbird that winters mostly in western Mexico, returns in April to the sage. Sagebrush habitat, often called shrub-steppe, is a common landscape of the interior West. However, each year more and more of it is being cleared for irrigated crops and development.
The diminutive Brewer’s Sparrow shares its nesting habitat with other fancy singers like the long-winded Sage Thrasher and the melodic Vesper Sparrow. All three of these birds are sandy brown in color, blending so seamlessly with their surroundings that only a sharp eye can pick them out. Yet even among this accomplished company, the Brewer’s song stands apart. While most birds offer a melody, the Brewer’s Sparrow seems to perform an entire aria.
I’m Mary McCann.
[Song of the Brewer’s Sparrow]
CURWOOD: For pictures, fly on over to our website, loe.org.
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