Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ipswich comparison

Stratford Point always hosts the "Ipswich" Savannah Sparrow in the fall and winter. This subspecies is a bit larger, heavier, and much paler than other more common Savannah Sparrows. The differences are noticeable enough that it used to be its own species. I know it is a frequent target of experienced birders. I snapped a quick comparison photo when I had the chance to yesterday morning.

You should be able to see that the bird on the right is larger, despite being further away from me than the one on the left. It is also much lighter in color. At Stratford Point, the Ipswich sparrows can most often be found near the beach. They are also sometimes around the seawall, as this one was, with other Savannah Sparrows. I am very glad we can now specifically enter the Ipswich as a subspecies in eBird rather than lumping it with the rest of the Savannah Sparrows.

Photo © Scott Kruitbosch

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