Little Friend is a Song Sparrow in the Burgess Bird Book. He is a little sparrow characterized as the opposite of Bully, hence his name is “Little Friend.”
The Cornell Lab notes that, “it’s one of the first species you should suspect if you see a streaky sparrow in an open, shrubby, or wet area. If it perches on a low shrub, leans back, and sings a stuttering, clattering song, so much the better.” (source) When hiking, I have heard this call and always looked up into the tops of the trees. The males like to perch a little bit higher in the open, but now we know that we should be looking lower as Jenny Wren points out:
“(He) likes damp places with plenty of bushes better,” replied Jenny Wren. “It wouldn’t do for everybody to like the same kind of place. He isn’t a tree bird, anyway. He likes to be on or near the ground. You will never find his nest much above the ground, not more than a foot or two. Quite often it is on the ground. Of course I prefer Mr. Wren’s song, but I must admit that Little Friend has one of the happiest songs of any one I know. Then, too, he is so modest, just like us Wrens.”Burgess Bird Book, p. 12 (Living Books Press edition)
Here is a long sample of that beautiful song:
Here is what we gathered while reading through allaboutbirds and Burgess about Little Friend:
Little Friend: Song Sparrow
Size & Shape: Song Sparrows are medium-sized and bulky.
Color Pattern: Song Sparrows are streaky and brown.
Behavior: Song Sparrows flit through dense low vegetation or low branches.
Something you didn’t know: Song Sparrows seem to have a clear idea of what makes a good nest.
We can’t wait to get back out to the Preserve and look for signs of Song Sparrows: their white chests with brown streaks, their desire to nest and be lower in the brush, and their beautiful songs.
Until next time, keep birding! <3 Kate
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