Nature at work today during the Schenectady CBC

Larry & Penny Alden

We initially drove by the sparrow along the side of the road.  A cursory look suggested it was just another white-throat.  But before we went too far, I started thinking there were some things that just didn’t seem right, so we pulled over and walked back.  Luckily, no cars came along to spook it.


Upon closer inspection, my hunch was confirmed.  It was not a white-throated sparrow, but a swamp sparrow.  Not the most likely of locations to find one.  Swamp sparrows are uncommon on this count.  We’ve had them 14 times in the last 25 counts, and almost always only one when we do.  So it’s a good bird.


Stepping back and getting ready to head back to the cars, we were completely surprised when a Cooper’s hawk came in “out of nowhere” and grabbed our great find!  We stood there with our mouths open, shocked.


After a bit, we justified it by saying the Coop wasn’t really the bad guy.  The swampy was acting very tame and wasn’t where we would have expected to find one.  The swampy must have been sick and the Coop was just doing it a favor since it would probably have died of starvation overnight.


That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.


Larry Alden

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