Denizens Of The Desert:
Desert Bighorn And Near Relatives
Battle Of The Reptiles
Latrodectus, The Poisonous
Le Conte Thrasher
Gnatcatchers And Verdins
Desert White–crowned Sparrow
Read More Articles About: Denizens Of The Desert
Desert White-crowned Sparrow
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
(Zonotrichia leucophrys intermedia)
OCTOBER 15. Now that the desert white-crowns have returned, and we hear their earnest and cheerful songs from almost every weed and brush tangle, we know that autumn days have come for good. With the arrival of the warm spring days they left us, and all summer they have been foraging in far Northern meadows and busying themselves with the important work of rearing families. Since these nursery duties are over, they are glad to be back again to the warm desert lowlands, even though for a little while they must be content with the scant fare that is left for them. Scarcely any-thing has been growing all summer and the small crop of seeds which ripened in early spring has largely been buried by the winds or picked up by the resident birds before the flocks of white-crowns and chipping sparrows arrived.
The desert sparrows seem to know that if they are going to get anything to eat they must earn it by their own diligent efforts. In little groups they sally from one 'weed patch to another, and industriously scratch for every mite of food that is left. They seem to spend a good deal less time than most of the birds in aimless flights or in sitting around in the sun-shine doing nothing. Like the European peas-ants they sing as they work and pass the days merrily even though they must be filled with arduous labors.
The music of these gleeful birds is the cheeriest and most constant song of winter and lends brightness to many a dull and monotonous day. They are particularly songful in the evening at about the time when they are going to roost.
Unhappily there is little of particular interest to write about these birds for, while they are well worth knowing and always are about in greatest numbers, they belong to those generalized types of birds with few mannerisms that are noticeably unusual. Perhaps we may say of them, as Lincoln said of the common people: the Lord must love them because he made so many of them.