A Foxy Visitor

A plump Red Fox Sparrow (P. i. iliaca ) is visiting the ground beneath the bird feeder this week. It’s a bird that we rarely saw at our Tidewater Virginia home so I was pleased to welcome it to New Hampshire, providing a little sunflower seed as it refueled on its way to Alaska and Northern Canada’s breeding grounds.

Red Fox SparrowThere are 4 major groups of these large Fox Sparrows across the country with some interbreeding where groups meet but the Red is the one found in the east.

These rusty-colored sparrows are fun to watch. They generally choose to feed on the ground near cover. To watch them forage for food is to think of how a chicken forages. They jump forward, scratching and kicking up leaves behind them with both feet.

I’m sure this one will be off on his journey north in another day or so and I’m quite happy to be a refueling station.

7 thoughts on “A Foxy Visitor

  1. I like this article. We have an abundance of song sparrows (desirable) already nesting in our hedges. I know this fox sparrow, but don’t think we see them in Capitol City of Virginia.

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    • You do! The fox sparrow isn’t as rusty colored as the red fox sparrow but feeds the same way… kicking up leaves with both feet…. much like a towhee. They are browner in the west and have a heavily streaked breast.

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  2. Pingback: Fox Sparrow - Wildlife Blog

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