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Brewer's sparrow        Images © Mark A. Chappell

These small, drab, long-tailed little sparrows have a remarkably long and intricate song.   They are characteristic of sagebrush and other dry scrublands in western North America; these birds were in McGee Creek Canyon and the nearby Convict Creek drainage on the eastern face of the Sierra Nevada (Mono County, California).   The birds are perched in bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata), which was in exuberant flower in the wet spring of 2005 in the right image, and in darker late summer foliage in the left images.

  • digital captures, Canon 1D Mk. II or 1D4; 500mm f4 IS + 2 X converter or 800 mm IS + 1.4X converter, fill-in flash (2005, 2013)