Photo Study Of American Pipits And Other Birds At Maple Knolls Farms (Bucks County), October 25th, 2010
and Vicky Smith's Maple Knolls Farms in Bucks County is a very productive birding
location. The fields of corn, alfalfa, soy beans and oats together with an incredible
hedge row and creek attract all sorts of birds every year. Today, I photographed American Pipits (there were well over 100 of them in the cut-down corn fields,)
as well as Purple Finches and Savannah, Lincoln's, Vesper, Song and Swamp Sparrows. Also, there were Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers, Downy Woodpeckers and Robins
actively eating Poison Ivy berries at the tops of the trees. Yesterday, Richard had a Yellow-breasted Chat.
American Pipit (Anthus rubescens) is a small (5-7 inches in length), slender, drab bird of open country.
Although it appears similar to sparrows, it can be distinguished by
its thin bill and its habit of bobbing its tail. The American Pipit breeds in arctic and alpine tundra. In migration and winter, it uses coastal beaches and marshes, stubble fields,
recently plowed fields, mudflats, and river courses on the Pacific coast of North America, and on the Atlantic coast from the southern USA to Central America. Also, its
wintering range seems to have expanded northwards in the 20th Century and the birds seem to spend less time in winter quarters: in northern Ohio and Pennsylvania, for
example, the species was recorded as "not common" during migration in May and September/October in the 1900's, but today it is considered a "widespread migrant"
in the region, found beween March and May and from late September to November, with many birds actually wintering here.
Lincoln's Sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii)
is a drab, but handsome bird of boggy areas and is best identified by the fine streaks on its buffy chest.
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.
was able to get a couple of very distant shots of a Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus).
The Vesper Sparrow is a large sparrow
which inhabits grasslands and fields
across much of the north-central United States and Canada. As its name suggests, it often sings in the evening twilight, though it sings actively in early morning as well.
(Cornell BNA; Wikipedia; Sibley's Guide To Birds)
To see a larger image of any of the photos below, please click on either the thumbnails or the captions...thanks!
Howard B. Eskin 2010 Please email your comments to email@example.com Please click here to go back to Bird Webpage Index