My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Lincoln’s Sparrow, Melospiza lincolnii

Note: this post, while published, is a work in progress, as are all posts in this series, My Photo Life List. My goal is to photograph every species of bird that is seen on a regular basis here in Michigan, working from a list compiled by the Michigan chapter of the Audubon Society. This will be a lifelong project, that I began in January of 2013, and as I shoot better photos of this, or any other species, I will update the post for that species with better photos when I can. While this series is not intended to be a field guide per se, my minimum standard for the photos in this series is that one has to be able to make a positive identification of the species in my photos. The information posted here is from either my observations or the Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia, however, I have personally shot all the photos appearing in this series.

Lincoln’s Sparrow, Melospiza lincolniis

The Lincoln’s Sparrow  is a medium-sized sparrow.

Adults have dark-streaked olive-brown upper-parts with a light brown breast with fine streaks, a white belly, and a white throat. They have a brown cap with a grey stripe in the middle, olive-brown wings, and a narrow tail. Their face is grey with brown cheeks, a brown line through the eye, and an eye ring. They are somewhat similar in appearance to the Song Sparrow.

Their breeding habitat is wet thickets or shrubby bogs across Canada, Alaska, and the northeastern and western United States; this bird is less common in the eastern parts of its range. The nest is a well-concealed shallow open cup on the ground under vegetation.

These birds migrate to the southern United States, Mexico, and northern Central America; they are passage migrants over much of the United States, except in the west.

They forage on the ground in dense vegetation, mainly eating insects and seeds.

They are very secretive. Their song is a musical trill, but this bird is often not seen or heard even where they are common.

This bird was named by Audubon after his friend, Thomas Lincoln, of Dennysville, Maine.

On to my photos:

Lincoln's Sparrow

Lincoln’s Sparrow

Lincoln's Sparrow

Lincoln’s Sparrow

Lincoln's Sparrow

Lincoln’s Sparrow

This is number 134 in my photo life list, only 216 to go!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!



15 responses

  1. What a cute little bird!
    Please check out my blog and let’s follow each other!

    November 27, 2013 at 1:03 am

    • Thank you Julie!

      November 27, 2013 at 2:04 am

  2. Great shots of what is apparently a seldom seen bird. At first I thought it was named after Abe Lincoln.

    November 27, 2013 at 7:35 am

    • Thanks, the All About Birds website was almost no help in IDing this one, apparently, very few people photograph them. This was one of a pair that would perch in the weeds in one of the grassy cells at Muskegon and watch me as I stalked shorebirds in the other end of the cell. If I hadn’t been on foot, I doubt that I would have ever seen them.

      November 27, 2013 at 9:00 am

  3. You are TEARING through your list! I learn something new from each of your posts. Thanks.

    November 27, 2013 at 8:26 am

    • Thanks Judy! I have the feeling that the second half of the list will be much harder to complete. 😉

      November 27, 2013 at 8:56 am

  4. Lovely post ,cheerful bird.Thank you for liking my post The L.A Times.Happy thanksgiving.

    November 27, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    • Thanks, and a Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.

      November 28, 2013 at 4:00 am

  5. What a cute speckled little guy. I haven’t even tried to tell all the different sparrows apart.

    November 28, 2013 at 3:49 am

    • Thanks, it’s not as tough to ID them once you get started, at least that’s how it has worked for me.

      November 28, 2013 at 4:01 am

  6. Notice you said “lifelong” project–which will be the really tough birds to find, do you think? PS, Happy Turkey Day!!!

    November 28, 2013 at 6:45 am

    • A Happy Turkey Day to you too!

      I think that owls will be tough, along with some of the nightbirds such as whip poor wills. I may see them flying in the evening, but photographing them will be very hard. There are also the rare vagrants, like pelicans and others.

      November 28, 2013 at 10:06 am

      • Pelicans! Go for it!!!

        December 2, 2013 at 9:55 am

  7. Another one I’ve yet seen. They look so close to a song, I’m sure I probably missed one at some point. 🙂

    December 7, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    • Thanks, they’re easy to miss!

      December 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm