Monday, March 23, 2015

Possible Eurasian Tree Sparrow in Kensington by Immaculate Heart Mary Church

Sean SimeToday at 2:24 PM
Yesterday, two nature lovers, but not necessarily "birders" told me about an interesting sparrow they saw with a group of House Sparrows on the corner of E 2nd Street and Ft. Hamilton Pkwy in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. After going through descriptions of our typical sparrows and a few outliers (read Dickcissel), one of them said, "It looked very similar to the male House Sparrows except it's head was much more reddish-brown." The second observer added, "It had a white cheek patch with a black spot."
This description was compelling for Eurasian Tree Sparrow. When I showed them a photo they immediately said, That's it!!!" I dragged one of them out on the spot and spent the better part of an hour watching. During this time some pretty fresh adult male House Sparrows came into the area and their response was always, "That's not it."
I spent some more time there today without luck, but it's better for the information to be out there with a disclaimer than not to be out there at all, especially considering the sighting of this species in early April of 2014 in Cape May, NJ. This should give us all something to do until the warblers arrive.
Good birding,
Sean Sime
Brooklyn, NY