Lincoln’s Sparrow

I was researching the origin of the Lincoln’s Sparrow name and discovered some early Audubon writings that read like journal entries. The writer describes the day she first encounters the bird. A beautiful early morning, the sun’s gentle rays awakening wildflowers. The melodious sounds of frogs nearby.

That’s when the sparrow with a call similar to a wren pops into her narrative. She excitedly describes following the little creature as it hopped from one bush to the next trying to evade their gaze. The very next sentence describes how her young companion with “unerring aim” took down the bird! So she named the bird after the boy who killed it. Not exactly the story I was expecting to hear from Audubon.


14 replies to “Lincoln’s Sparrow

  1. Bird watching was really different back in the 19th century. I read a great biography of Theodore Roosevelt who became quite good at bird taxidermy as a boy. I prefer “shooting” them with my camera and letting them live to sing another day.

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