Savannah Spring

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed quite a few Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) in the playing fields at work. The grass is growing a little long and there are plenty of dandelions, many of which are going to seed. Flocks of Savannah Sparrows are working their way through the flowers, plucking out the fine white fluff and eating the seeds.

Savannah Sparrows seem to be everywhere these days. Just today I saw a pair working at the dandelions in our backyard garden. All the more reason to allow a few weeds to grow in your lawn.

I spent some time walking around the fields trying to get a good shot of the Savannah’s in action. These birds prefer open grasslands and agricultural fields as well as coastline so the old playing fields and nearby farmland are good habitat for them. They were fairly skittish and kept flushing up in front of me before I could get close enough to get good photographs. Often I wouldn’t see them until I was very close because they blended in so well with the grass.

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) #1
The Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) enters the muddy puddle in preparation for bathing.

I had to settle for a Savannah taking a bath in a muddy puddle on a gravel road. Not the most scenic background but that didn’t seem to deter this sparrow. It was so focused on enjoying its ablution that I was able to get some great looks at it.

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) #2
Thoroughly wet, it shakes off the excess water.

Savannah Sparrows are beautiful sparrows with a fine streaked look. They have a prominent yellow “eyebrow” that makes them easy to identify.

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) #3
Bath done, the Savannah Sparrow soaks up the ambiance.

After a short bath, this freshly clean sparrow returned to the all important task of finding more dandelion seeds. Another sign of spring here on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.