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Sparrow, Song

Scientific Name: Melospiza melodia

Family: Passerellidae

Native Range: North America, Pennsylvania

Size: Length: 11 to 18 cm (4.3 to 7.1 in); Wingspan: 18 to 25.4 cm (7.1 to 10.0 in) (Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_sparrow)

Active: Year-round resident

Field Markings: “Underparts whitish, with streaks on sides and breast that converge into a dark breast spot; Streaked brown and gray above, broad, grayish eyebrow; broad, dark malar stripe; Long rounded tail.” (Alderfer p. 232-233)

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Sparrow, House

Scientific Name: Passer domesticus

Family: Passeridae

Native Range: Europe and Asia, introduced into North America and Pennsylvania

Size: Length: 14 to 18 cm (5.5 to 7.1 in); Wingspan:

Active: Year-round resident

Field Markings: “Breeding male has black bill, bib, and lores; chestnut eye stripes, nape, back, and shoulders; Winter male less patterned; Female has brown back, streaked with black; buffy eyestripe; and unstreaked grayish breast.” (Alderfer p. 260-261)

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Dove, Mourning

Scientific Name: Spinus tristis

Family: Fringillidae

Native Range: Eastern North America, Pennsylvania

Size: Medium finch: Length: 11–14 cm (4.3–5.5 in); Wingspan: 19–22 cm (7.5–8.7 in)

Active: Year-round resident*

Field Markings: “Breeding male is bright yellow with black cap; female and winter male duller overall, lacking cap; ‘;[Black wings with white bars; Black-and-white tail; white undertail coverts.” (Alderfer p. 258-259)

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Hawk, Red-Tailed

Scientific Name: Buteo jamaicensis

Family: Accipitridae

Native Range: North and Central America, Pennsylvania

Size: Length: 45–65 cm (18–26 in); Wingspan: 110–141 cm (3 ft 7 in–4 ft 8 in)

Active: Year-round resident*

Field Markings: “Brown above; red tail on adults; Whitish belly with broad band of dark streaking; Dark bar on leading edge of underwing; Immature has brown, banded tail.” (Alderfer p. 77-76)

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Catbird, Gray

Scientific Name: Dumetella carolinensis

Family: Mimidae

Native Range: Eastern and Central United States America, Eastern Central America, Pennsylvania

Size: Length: 20.5 – 24 cm (8.1 to 9.4 in); Wingspan: 22 – 30 cm (8.7 to 11.8 in)

Active: Year-round resident in very southeastern part of Pennsylvania. Our catbirds seem to nest here spring-fall, but be largely absent in winter*

Field Markings: “Dark gray overall; black cap; long, black tail, often cocked; Undertail coverts chestnut; dark eyes; short, dark bill.” (Alderfer p. 184-185)

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Mockingbird, Northern

Scientific Name: Mimus polyglottos

Family: Mimidae

Native Range: Mexico, United States, Southern Canada; Pennsylvania

Size: Medium mimid: Length: 20.5 to 28 cm (8.1 to 11.0 in); Wingspan: 31–38 cm (12–15 in)

Active: Year-round resident*

Field Markings: “Gray overall; darker above; White wing patches and outer tail feathers flash conspicuously in flight; Long, blackish wings and tail; Short, black bill” (Alderfer p. 186-187)

August 7, 2020: Across the street from out house is a tall evergreen tree with a bare leader. Our local mockingbird perches at the top and sings and does its flip display. One afternoon, I heard a cell phone ring while I was in the yard, which morphed into a bird call and then into another. I looked up and realized that the mocking bird had learned to ring like a phone.

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Hummingbird, Ruby-Throated

Scientific Name: Archilochus colubris

Family: Trochilidae

Native Range: Summer Range: North America, Pennsylvania; Winter Range:

Size: Length:  7 to 9 cm (2.8 to 3.5 in) long; Wingspan: 8 to 11 cm (3.1 to 4.3 in)

Active: Spring – fall*

Field Markings: “Metallic green above; Adult male has brilliant red gorget, black chin, whitish underparts, dusky green sides; Female lacks gorget, has whitish throat and underparts, and a buffy wash on sides.” (Alderfer p. 118-119)

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Goldfinch

Scientific Name: Spinus tristis

Family: Fringillidae

Native Range: Eastern North America, Pennsylvania

Size: Medium finch: Length: 11–14 cm (4.3–5.5 in); Wingspan: 19–22 cm (7.5–8.7 in)

Active: Year-round resident*

Field Markings: “Breeding male is bright yellow with black cap; female and winter male duller overall, lacking cap; ‘;[Black wings with white bars; Black-and-white tail; white undertail coverts.” (Alderfer p. 258-259)

August 7, 2020: Alderfer says, “Typical goldfinch diet, mostly seeds, is the most vegetarian of any North American bird, though the goldfinch does sometimes eat insects as well.” In our yard, goldfinches prefer seeds from sunflowers and cup plants. They can often be seen pushing each other off favored stalks to get seeds.

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Finch, House

Scientific Name: Haemorhous mexicanus

Family: Fringillidae

Native Range: Western North America, introduced in the east, Pennsylvania

Size: Medium finch: Length 12.5 to 15 cm (4.9 to 5.9 in); Wingspan: 20 to 25 cm (7.9 to 9.8 in)

Active: Year-round resident*

Field Markings: “Male’s forehead, bib, and rump are typically red, but can be orange or, occasionally yellow; brown streaked back, pale belly, streaked flanks; Female streaked dusky brown on entire body” (Alderfer p. 256-257)