Xplor More: Birds in the Brush

By MDC | January 1, 2022
From Xplor: January/February 2022
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Brush piles are high-rise hotels for all kinds of critters. Nooks and crannies between branches provide “rooms” where animals take shelter when weather turns wintery.

Nearly a dozen kinds of sparrows flock to the Show-Me State during the snowy months. Many of them pile into brush piles to keep cozy and to feast on the seeds of weeds that grow between branches.

Sparrows are what birdwatchers call “LBBs” — little brown birds — which means they’re hard to spot against a brushy background. Their unflashy feathers also make it tough to tell one kind of sparrow from another. But look closely at each bird’s head and body, and you’ll soon spot clues to help you identify different species.

This brush pile is stuffed with sparrows! How many of each kind can you find? Hint: There are 25 sparrows in total.

  • White-throated sparrow
  • Field sparrow
  • White-crowned sparrow
  • Dark-eyed junco
  • Savannah sparrow
  • Tree sparrow
  • Fox sparrow

This Issue's Staff

ARTIST
Alexis (AJ) Joyce

PHOTOGRAPHERS
Noppadol Paothong
David Stonner

DESIGNERS
Marci Porter
Les Fortenberry

ART DIRECTOR
Cliff White

EDITOR
Matt Seek

SUBSCRIPTIONS
Laura Scheuler

MAGAZINE MANAGER
Stephanie Thurber