White-throated Sparrow & Pussy Willow
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9” x 16”, acrylic, 1984
The white-throated sparrow is more than a mere sparrow for those of us who love the wilder places within its territory. There is a magic which, like the loon, is probably associated with its high, clear call.
The high, clear whistle says, "Oh sweet Canada, Canada, Canada, Canada" to Canadians and "Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody, Peabody" to Americans. I associate it with cottage country, canoe country and marginal meeting areas of forest and farmland. the song is in a world of peace and clear, clean air. The pioneers would have heard it as they cleared and planted their land.

The white-throated sparrow is a modest-looking bird, but with a subtle beauty. I really enjoy the combination of black, white and yellow on the head with the modulated gray cheeks.

In our area, the migration begins at the same time as the pussy willows are in bloom. The green leaves of spring are still hidden inside the buds of all the trees. I decided that the gentle grays of the landscape complimented the plumage of the bird, and the yellow pollen on the pussy willows matched the diagnostic yellow patch in front of the sparrow's eye.