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May 3rd, 2016

White-crowned vs white-throated sparrow

littlewhiteheadedsparrow.jpgwhitethroatedsparrow.jpg
White crowned sparrowWhite throated sparrow


These little sparrows confused me last month! They look nearly identical - I referred to both as zebra-headed sparrows. However, we saw one here at the house (left) and one out at the Montour Preserve (right). The one on the right has yellow on his face and white on his throat, which was hard to see because of the ground color. But the bird book showed me that these are in fact different types of sparrows.

White-crowned sparrows are not very common in Pennsylvania. The map shows that they may come during winter or migration periods. They scratch the ground with both feet at once, I think when foraging for food. We've seen the one in our backyard do that. Just a minute ago, s/he was waiting to get at the safflower seeds, but a mourning dove was sitting in the dish and claiming it :P

White-throated sparrows, on the other hand, seem to be common in Pennsylvania. The map shows that they live here year-round and the description says that they like coniferous and mixed woodlands, like you find out at the Preserve. The one that we saw there was feeding on the ground when we saw him, too, unlike the goldfinches which were swarming the bird feeders :) I have an eye out for these guys, now that I know which one is which!

Doggies, books, history...

My latest Pokemon of interest is Furfrou, a white dog Pokemon. I caught one the other night and named it Fluffy :)

Furfrou.png

I also had to root around my room to find the fluffy stuffed dog that I got at Sight and Sound a few years ago when we went to see Noah. We traveled from PA to DC and back to PA together :)

doggieAndMe copy.jpg

Today during a break, I decided to poke around online to see what I could learn about dogs like this one in real life. I stumbled on a quiz about whether you and a certain breed match well, so I decided to take a quiz that would recommend which type of dog would suit me. (I don't want a pet right now and I couldn't have one anyway, but I wanted to take the quiz just because I was bored with data QC.)

One of the top matches was a breed called a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I'd never heard of it before, but I thought it was a handsome dog, so I decided to read more. A few words started looking familiar... Africa... Boer... Hottentots... Ndebele... Bulawayo... bushveldt... Matabeleland...

Wow! This breed was developed in Zimbabwe for hunting - the same region that I've been reading about in the book by Frederick Selous: A Hunter's Wanderings in Africa! I last left Mr. Selous around Victoria Falls in the 1870's. Reading about this breed of dogs was like stepping into a happy, nostalgic place. I'd like to meet a Rhodesian Ridgeback someday. (The word Rhodesia is a place name, correlating to the country of Zimbabwe.) In the meantime, I will feed Fluffy pokepuffs and snuggle the stuffed one ^_^

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