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Posts Tagged ‘Santa’

The Santa-like “beard” of the White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) that I observed this past weekend at Huntley Meadows Park seems seasonally appropriate as we move closer and closer to Christmas. The backdrop of colorful foliage adds to the festive feel of the photo, which is further enhanced by the frosty leaves in the foreground.

 

White-throated Sparrow

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I often think of this little bird as the “Santa bird,” because of its white “beard” and round belly. Technically speaking, it’s a White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis), but it’s often more fun to make up my own names for the creatures that I see and photograph.

White-throated Sparrow

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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It’s almost Christmas. Decorations are visible everywhere and all the radio stations are playing non-stop Christmas music. As I am driving to work, I am reminded of (and sometimes burst into singing) the lyrics of Silver Bells, which include the line, “Strings of street lights, even stoplights, blink a bright red and green, as the shoppers rush home with their treasures.”

Even in nature I am reminded of Christmas. Despite the title of this blog posting, this bird is not called a “Santa bird,” but I enjoy making up names of the creatures that I photograph. Usually I do so when I don’t know their real names, but in this case I know that the bird is a White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis).

His prominent white “beard” and his round belly, though, remind me of Santa Claus, and I can’t help but smile. I recall some of the words of the famous poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, “He had a broad face and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.”

Soon it will be Christmas day.

Santa bird

Santa bird

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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