Chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina)

While I wait for the migratory warblers to appear in southwestern and northwestern New Jersey, I’m enjoying some of the spring birds in my backyard.

It was midday and the sun was shining. After feeding Sir Alphonso Mango, I heated a slice of pepperoni pizza. I poured a can of Coca-Cola, watching as it cascaded over a glass half-filled with glistening crushed ice. I sat outdoors, able to hear and see birds fluttering in the nearby trees.

I recorded a few minutes of bird calls on the Merlin app, which indicated that some of the birds were Tufted Titmouse, Blue Jay, and Chipping Sparrow. I could now add the Chipping Sparrow to my life list, but I wanted a photograph. I popped inside to grab my X-T3 and XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR.

As I bit into the salty fat of the pepperoni pizza, a Chipping Sparrow landed on a branch of the Sassafras tree near where I sat on the small deck. I balanced the familiar weight of the camera and lens in my hands, managing to get a photograph of the underbelly and the head, but I wanted something better.

My patience was rewarded at the end of my lunch break when a Chipping Sparrow landed on the dead tree stump next to the juniper. This time, I could see the earthy tones and subtle iridescence of its feathers.

Author: Khürt Williams

a human, an application security architect, avid photographer, nature lover, and formula 1 fan who drinks beer.

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