[Tweeters] RE: Subject: white headed song sparrow - Olympia Black Hills Audubon fiekld trip

Chris Warlow christopherwarlow at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 26 21:10:05 PST 2014

I am amused to see this report, the white-headed song sparrow has become a legend in our family.

It all started with my mother-in-law who was visiting from New Jersey. She is not very aware of wildlife. She was running around the lake and announced that she had seen a baby Bald Eagle. Saying this she held her fingers apart about 5". I explained that a baby bald eagle was larger than that. She was very insulted and explained that it was exactly like a bald eagle with a white head and brown body. She sat with my Sibley for hours trying to work out what she had seen.

About six months later my wife (also not a birder) called me to tell me that her mother wasn't crazy. She had seen a sparrow with a white head. So to put it to rest I went down to Capitol Lake and called it out. My mother-in-law was very happy to see photographs of her "baby bald eagle".

So this bird has been there for at least a year. We have often wondered if it was still around.

Another legendary bird is a Grand Mound white goose and I wonder if it has been misidentified again today on ebird (no names mentioned). In a rush last year I took someone else's report that it was a Ross's Goose (again no names). This bird is generally seen at speed traveling down the road. It is a domestic white goose. I feel better that we weren't the only birders to be duped by it. If the report is of a real Snow Goose in the same area I apologize.

Chris Warlow

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