Savannah Sparrows wintering over

Every winter about mid-February the birding slows down here in Maine.  It’s cold, one has seen most of the seasonal birds and reports of rarities seem to stop (cause even the birds are hunkering down to stay warm).  Species that winter in Maine haven’t begun their migration north to their breeding grounds in the Arctic and the advance guard of spring migration into Maine won’t start for another week or so.

But occasionally one sees a surprise . . . like the handful of Savannah Sparrows wintering over at a Dairy Farm in central Maine.

The Savannah is a common summer bird found in meadows and farm fields (note the streaked chest, small head, short tail and tell-tale yellow streak over eye).  It arrives in Maine during May and departs in October.

But this one colony of Savannah Sparrows has decided that a tire pile in Clinton, Maine is preferable to a 1500 mile migration . . . make sense to me!

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