6.000 x 4.000 inches
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Beverley Harper Tinsley
Painting - Watercolor And Graphite
This tiny bird drew my attention in part because it is in many ways so plain, a humble creature trying to survive in decreasing habitat, and therefore needing to be noticed.
The Saltmarsh Sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus) is a small, and rather plain looking sparrow. But sometimes beauty can be found in humble places.
The Saltmarsh Sparrow measures 11–14 cm in length, spans 17.8–21 cm across the wings and weighs from 14–23.1 g. Adults have brownish upper parts with grey on the crown and nape, a cream-colored breast with dark streaks and a white throat and belly; they have an orange face with grey cheeks and a short pointed tail.
Their breeding habitat is salt marshes on the Atlantic coast of the United States from southern Maine to Virginia. The charming nest is a tiny open cup located above the high tide line, among the grasses and reeds. Males compete for females but do not defend territories. Only females raise the young.
These birds migrate further south along the eastern coast of the United States. They forage on the ground or in marsh vegetation, sometimes probing in mud. They mainly eat insects, aquatic invertebrates and seeds. The call is a raspy trill.
This bird's numbers are declining and the population is vulnerable, due to habitat loss largely attributed to human activity.
December 3rd, 2012
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