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Ipswich Sparrow

April 24, 2024

Laura and I first met the Ipswich Sparrow in late April 2000 on a birding trip to Martinique Beach Provincial Park led by the late Dr. Ian Mclaren. Martinique Beach Provincial Park is a major staging area for the Ipswich Sparrow where they fuel up in preparation for their long and treacherous over ocean flight to their nesting area on Sable Island. It was our second trip after moving to Nova Scotia. The first bird outing was to the Chignecto National Wildlife Area, a Parks Canada Reserve.

The Ipswich Sparrow is incorrectly listed by some as a subspecies of the Savannah Sparrow. Read https://www.aba.org/birding_archive_files/v38n5p52.pdf for a fair comparison of the Ipswich Sparrow and Savannah Sparrow. Most experienced field birders can easily separate the species in the field by appearance, song, and most importantly by personality. The Ipswich Sparrow which breeds on Sable Island off the coast of Nova Scotia is inappropriately named after a town in Massachusetts, the wintering place for many Ipswich Sparrows. Birds should be named after or about the place they were born, not where they overwinter.

Ipswich Sparrow

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