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Monday, January 2, 2012

Look closely, it may be a Harris' Sparrow

Harris' Sparrow
Harris' Sparrow
Among the throngs of Juncos in north Texas this winter, there is likely to be a Harris' Sparrow or two. They're the same size as Juncos, they have the same feeding habits and they have similar colors (though in different areas of the body).

Both Harris' Sparrows and Juncos are in the sparrow family, but look closely. While a Junco's back is gray, the Harris' Sparrow back is not. It's finely striped like other native sparrows - tan and white. Nor is its entire head dark gray.

In Texas, astoundingly, NOW is the best time of year to plant native prairie grasses. They don't need fertilizer, They need very little water, and grasses require only once-a-year maintenance. They're also mostly free of pests and diseases.

There are several kinds to choose from, such as Little Bluestem, Indian Grass, Gulf Muhly and Windmill Grass. Just be very sure it's a native prairie grass or it could be a problem.

1 comment:

  1. here in Decatur we enjoy since the 1st of January that thong of juncos and about 30+ Harris Sparrows usually living in pair but also Wrens,Woodpeckers,Northern Flickers,One Robin,Sparrows,nuthatches,and the usual suspects (fierce chickadees,titmouses,Doves....). Not to mention tons of Goldfinches and House finches who eat us out of house and home