Two Savannahs

Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis)

Seeing one Savannah Sparrow is good; seeing two is better. These two in the video shared a bush near the Flare Station in the middle of the park, and both engaged in the important morning ritual of preening and scratching. That’s not just a feel-good exercise. Like everyone else in nature, birds get dust and dirt on them. Moreover, all birds are plagued by various mites, fleas, ticks and other parasites that cling to their feathers and skin, some of which can make a bird seriously ill if allowed to stay. It’s a constant battle to get rid of them. So, preening is serious business.

Savannah Sparrows, like Western Meadowlarks, are ground nesters. They need grasses and weeds to grow at least knee high (on a human scale) to provide cover for their nests and feeding territory for the parents. Currently there’s no habitat near these birds’ location that fits the bill, but of course nesting time is still a few months off. Park management can be of great help by doing less mowing. The area east and just south of the Flare Station, in particular, is historically a breeding ground for Savannah Sparrows, and lies outside of the dog park (off-leash area). Mowing there is an expense and effort that could well be spared. Parks make life better, and birds make parks better.

Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)

More about Savannah Sparrows: Cornell Wikipedia Audubon In Chavez Park

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One thought on “Two Savannahs

  • Marty,
    We’re wondering where you look for the best tide information for the east cove which seems to be influenced by tides a lot. Here’s our source but the Berkeley Marina isn’t listed. The closest place seems to be Emeryville. https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/noaacurrents/Stations?g=696.
    We had a great viewing of the burrowing owl over the past few days. What sparrow has orange streaks on its crown? We’ve not seen the meadow lark yet. Where does it hang out?
    Thanks,

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