Friday, October 30, 2015

Fall Bird Photography - White-throated Sparrow

Autumn Bird Photography - White-throated Sparrow

On Saturday, October 25th, Ashley and I headed out for some photography and birding at one of our favourite spots at this time of year, Confederation Park. This park is located on the south sore of Lake Ontario, in Stoney Creek. The portion of the park that we like to visit is called "Confederation Park B", and we enter through the side entrance, off of Grays Rd.

We began our day by stopping at Tim Hortons at Prudhomme's Landing in Jordan for breakfast. This is where Ashley begins our video by explaining the types of bird sepcies we have seen at Confederation Park in the fall in previous years. We have observed Lesser Yellowlegs, and Great Egrets on from the waterfront trail in the past, although they appeared a little earlier on. Our records show these birds visiting the area in late September, and early October. We were just a little too late this year, as there were no signs of these birds on the 25th.


This first bird we spotted was a White-throated sparrow, climbing through the thick plants growing in the park. Forgive me, I do not know the name of this plant species, I would love for someone to leave a comment about what it is. There were several White-throated sparrows, about 15-20 by our account. I was able to get some great shots by sneaking into brush, careful not to step on any plants or disturbing the environment. Ashley did a good job of capturing this moment on her iPhone, as seen in our video.

How to identify the White-throated sparrow bird

How to Identify a White-throated Sparrow

This bird is quite easy to identify, as it has several key features that set it apart from other sparrow species. This sparrow is full-bodied with a rounded head, long legs, and a long narrow tail. The White-throated sparrow's facial markings include a black eyestripe, white crown, yellow lores, and of course, a white throat. A neat little fact for Canadian birders is that this birds call has been said to sound like "Oh-sweet Canada"!

We also counted a number of Dark-eyed Juncos and Golden crowned kinglets. These birds are very common at the park in October. The usual Blue Jays and Cardinals made their presence known as well with their familiar backyard calls. Making our way down to the lake, Ashley noted several White-winged scoters had made their way south to this location already. I regret not taking a video of these birds, even if they were quite a ways off shore. Later on this year, I hope to observe and photograph some Surf scoters, and maybe even a King eider at this location. Both species have been spotted here in recent years. 

Our next post and video will describe our day at LaSalle Park in Burlington. We were hoping to feed some Black-capped chickadees by hand, and let's just say, those little guys did not disappoint!


  1. if you use binoculars to look at bird, you can see the bird even if they are far away