White-Crowned Sparrows Bring Winter

White-crowns bathing

White-crowned Sparrows bathing in our wildlife pond

We know it’s really chilly outside when we see the White-crowned Sparrows bathing in the bird bath. They never seem to bathe in warm weather. But the colder it gets, the more white-crowns jump into the water and energetically bathe. It’s mind boggling.

These pint-sized travelers show up in our yard from their summer homes to the north when fall finally breaks the back on our summer heat. My coastal-grown husband, who withers in the desert heat, literally jumps for joy when he spots the first white-crown arriving in our yard each fall. We have a special celebration on that momentous day each year.

We keep track of the day the first white-crown arrives each fall and the day the last one leaves to fly back north as the weather heats up each April. In between those two dates, my husband comes alive in his excitement about the arrival of winter – keeping a fire stoked in the woodstove, stacking firewood out of the rain, simmering hearty soups on the stove, and hoping the white-crowns stay for a LONG winter’s rest.

The usual suspects hanging out at the feeder.