Photo of Da Day @ Da Pine #348

There were several pairs of these sparrow like birds in the New Mexico mountains. They look like a cross between a white crowned sparrow, a robin and a mockingbird. They were very territorial of their turf and drove off most all other species with the exception of the Steller Jays which truly ruled the roost.

Id help please, I have looked and can not match him in my guides

Ask for help when you need it on your journey†††nada te turbe†††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #186

Said the Robin to the sparrow,

I should really like to know,

Why these anxious human beings

Rush about and worry so.

Said the sprarrow to the robin,

Friend, I think that it must be,

That they have no heavenly Father Such as cares for you and me.

Don’t get faith, fear and trust confused on your journey†††††nada te turbe†††††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #178

This Black-Throated Sparrow (Amphisipiza billneata) that we found at Sam Nail’s homestead in Big Bend National Park, reminded me of Zorro. I could hear him speaking in an Antonio Banderas Spanglish accent.

The Black-Throated sparrow is appropriately also known as the Desert Sparrow. They can survive long periods of time without water getting their needed moisture from seed and the insects of their diet. A group of sparrows are known as a “crew’, “flutter”,  “meinie”, “quarrel” and “ubiquity”.

Get your H2o where you can on your journey†††nada te turbe††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #175

I liked the way this juvenile White Crowned sparrow ( Zonotrichia leucophrys) was trying to make himself appear really tall by standing up straight and almost on tippy-toes. I know I tried to look taller and tougher than I was when I was a juvenile. Oh, what the heck, I try to still do it today, and I bet I look as comical as this guy.

I found him feeding and drinking at Sam Nail’s homestead in Big Bend National Park.

Stand tall, but natural, on your journey†††nada te turbe†††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #165

White Crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)

You generally don’t have to travel far or search long to find a sparrow in North America. House sparrows range across North America and can be found in cities, farmlands or in the country, forming into large flocks.  They live mostly where we live. There are 245 species of sparrows and finches worldwide and it is estimated that the population is around 150,000,000 birds, but their numbers get lower each year as there is less food for them, because of fewer gardens. They are now on the threatened birds’ list in many parts of the world.

Among the many sparrows found in the United States are the House sparrow, the song sparrow, the white-throated sparrow (or peabody bird), and the chipping, white-crowned, vesper, Lincoln’s, fox, field, tree, and swamp sparrows. Sparrows are valuable to farmers in destroying weed seeds. Originally sparrow meant any small bird; the word appears in this sense in Greek mythology and in the Scriptures.

The House Sparrow is a very social bird. It is gregarious at all seasons when feeding, often forming flocks with other types of bird. It also roosts communally, its nests are usually grouped together in clumps, and it engages in a number of social activities, such as dust and water bathing, and “social singing”, in which birds call together in bushes.The House Sparrow feeds mostly on the ground, but it flocks in trees and bushes. A group of sparrows can be know as an “ubiquity” of sparrows, now there is a 10$ word.

Not bad for a little bird that immigrated to America as a stowaway from Europe in the 1850’s. Sounds pretty much typically American, just like the rest of us.

Adapt like the sparrow on your journey††nada te turbe†††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #152

It is odd how quick we can become jaded to what we see. We were driving around Bosque Del Apache, NM,  looking to find all those exciting birds of prey: falcons, hawks & eagles, the big birds: cranes, geese and such. We were on alert for finches and other colorful birds. So many times we would see a flicker of wing,  just a flash of a feather. We would stop the car, slowly scan the bush, only to have me dismiss the bird with  “never mind it’s just a sparrow!”

We had stopped at a lookout deck where we had seen a few Red-wing blackbirds the day before. I love the Red-wing, it’s cry echos from my childhood with memories of fishing with my dad. I was a bit disappointed that the Red-wing does not have Red wings in the winter. It’s red chevrons are a faded dull orange and even their off season song is not the same as they sung from my childhood. Some things you just can’t reclaim.

As I was heading back to the car, imagine my excitement at spotting this bold, orange, black and white fellow. He posed and showed off what a handsome bird he was. Then I get back to the hotel and I’m reviewing my images. I then turn to my bird guides trying to put a name to the guy. I am looking at Orioles, Larks, Warblers, I can’t find him. Then I identify my bird. He is a  Spotted Tohee (Pipilo maculatus). I am thrilled at such an exciting discovery. Then in the first sentence of his description, it states that he is a sparrow and my words echo…….”oh it’s just a sparrow”.

I felt he was smartly telling me to eat crow… careful how quickly you judge things on your journey††nada te turbe†††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #126

At first, I was disappointed that this was the only bird that first showed himself to me. We were at Sam Nail’s old homestead in the Big Bend. I was wanting fancy, colorful birds and I get the fairly common White-Crowned Sparrow. Just like my fate with butterflies, birds and life, I am destined for the common it seems. As always, we can learn from patience and trust. The sparrow was only the first to come. The Cardinals, Mockingbirds and Finches stayed in the shadows and allowed the sparrow to test the waters. They let the common little bird see “whose eye was on him”, if it was safe for the fancy birds and then they came. So don’t dismiss the sparrow or think him common, he is a leader, brave and handsome.

“Let not your heart be troubled,”
His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth,
but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me.

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me”

Civilla Martin, who wrote the lyrics, said this about her inspiration to write this song based on scripture:

Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle—true saints of God. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nigh twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittles, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. The hymn “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” was the outcome of that experience.
—Civilla Martin
Whose eye is on your journey?…enjoy†††nada te turbe…jim