Subtle Beauty

Sparrows are stripey, brown, boring little birds … right?

Not when you look closely.

Last weekend I saw Henslow’s sparrows at Piney Tract and because they were Life Birds I spent time looking carefully at each one.

At first they were confusing brown birds whose only distinguishing feature were their flat-topped heads and “Roman nose” beaks.  But then one paused on top of a bush with the light just right. 

His head and neck were washed in olive.  His wings were pale chestnut.  In that moment he was incredibly colorful.

Sparrows have a subtle beauty.  It just takes time to see.

(Henslow’s sparrow photo taken at Piney Tract last Saturday by Steve Gosser)

3 thoughts on “Subtle Beauty

  1. Henslow’s can also be found a little closer to Pgh, up in Lawrence County, near the big bird feeder (grain silo). I’ve heard them there often in the past, but have never seen one, they stay so hidden in the grass.

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