White-throated Sparrow

No doubt my favorite season is spring. The energy of the spring season is intoxicating. During this time of year there is a treat for the early riser, the dawn chorus.

The great dawn chorus begins at 3:30 a.m. As sparrows, thrushes, orioles, vireos, warblers, wrens, and others sing out to mark their territory and attract a mate. A special time during a special season.

One of my favorite songsters of spring is the White-throated sparrow, with their oh-sweet-canada-canada whistle. In my opinion, their song is right up there with the cry of the Loon, and the call of Sandhill Cranes for evoking the consciousness of being in nature.

Recently, White-throated sparrow singing has changed from a triplet-ending song to a doublet-ending song. This change has progressed rather rapidly within populations of White-throated sparrows. The theory is the variation improves a male's chance of attracting a mate, and the deviation originated from a single western Canadian sparrow that has been copied while mixing with other White-throated sparrows on wintering grounds. Truly amazing. You can learn more about it at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982220307715 or by googling “continent-wide shifts in song dialects of White-throated sparrows”. Photo © copyright by Toby Skov.