Lincoln sparrow in woodlot
Outdoor Ontario

Lincoln sparrow in woodlot


  • Old Timer
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    • Posts: 1999
 The sartorially crisp-looking Lincoln sparrow is actually fairy uncommon and somewhat difficult to spot during migration because it has a solitary habit and because it skulks in thickets close to the ground where it might easily be overlooked by warbler-necked birders. In the spring the Lincoln favours damp woods, or swampy woods. In the fall its demands are less niche specific whereby it might settle at the edge of woodlands even though that is where bird watchers make their rounds. I have been fairly fortunate in the past to have spotted a Lincoln during most spring migrations. Failing success at that, I’m convinced that I’ll manage to spot a Lincoln is the parking lot and it is bound to have rust-covered disc brake calipers because Ford doesn’t feel their luxury brand warrants enamel veneer to keep those calipers spiffy. But I digress, as usual. Visiting a birding hotspot in the past has usually garnered a decent photograph of a Lincoln sparrow, although not quite as spectacular as Steven Hood’s archival quality captures of this species. I’ve spotted one on Ashbridges Bay spit almost every spring over the last few years. I once saw one in the grass near a Scarborough bus top during a rainy morning. That was a bit of a shock. I think that might have been my first sighting of a Lincoln sparrow. The first satisfying photo of a Lincoln sparrow was captured in the wet woods of the base-lands in Tommy Thompson Park. As expected, it was in the grass (grounded as it were) and also upon the mud, which so defines the trail at that time of year. Lincoln sparrows at Ashbridges were located amongst the boulders near the little beach as well as on the east side of the spit where the boulders are just as formidable. 
This Lincoln was in the street-side woodlot on a low perch. It revealed itself while acquiring that perch. Climate change will likely continue to shrink the Lincoln sparrow’s breeding range and therefore it might become even harder to spot a Lincoln sparrow during future migrations. I don’t know about you but I could use a little good news for a change.