Week 40. White-crowned Sparrows.

Autumn migration is well underway on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario.

We had an influx of Sparrow species on the Friday of week 40 so I set up in the yard on Saturday morning despite there being thick cloud with light rain at times.

Here is an adult White-crowned Sparrow with an immature in the background. In the spring the adult migrated to the far north to breed in brushy areas of the taiga and tundra. It’s now heading south for the winter and could travel as far south as central Mexico. The immature bird in the background will have hatched from an egg a few months ago and is heading south for the first time.

White-crowned Sparrows on autumn migration.

The onset of autumn.

This week’s Cosmic Photo Challenge is The Onset of Autumn.

For me, the onset of autumn doesn’t just mean the leaves changing colour. It also means a change of bird species in the area. As I type this it’s been a week since I last saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, they’re heading south for the winter. Today I had a Pine Siskin in the yard, normally a winter species for the area.

So rather go with a somewhat predictable photo of leaves I decided to go with a bird species that passes through the area in the spring and autumn. This White-crowned Sparrow is a passage migrant in this part of Ontario. Having bred in the far north it’s now heading south to spend the winter the southern U.S. or Mexico. It has stopped off in the area to feed up for a day or two.

White-crowned Sparrow.