Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Last week during a regular trip to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, I was enjoying a day off while scouting out new places to go hiking, etc. rather than looking for more subjects to photograph for work when one of those maddening little birds that I can never get a clear shot of landed beautifully, perched on the dried seedpods of last summer’s wildflowers that this part of North Florida is known for. I knew it was a sparrow, but wasn’t sure of the species. Many thanks to Dan Irizarry for helping me with identifying this one as a song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) and properly proving my (savannah sparrow) guess wrong.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

A song sparrow perches on the seedpods last summer’s wildflowers on a late winter morning in the St. Marks National WIldlife Refuge on North Florida’s Gulf Coast.

One of the most beautiful things about being a nature photographer is that you will always be the student. No matter how many years you spend in the field and how many field guides you memorize and scientific papers you read – every day in the field is a constant reminder of just how much you don’t know! That will always make every day an adventure!


Rich Leighton
February 23, 2011


All images are property of Leighton Photography & Imaging and cannot be used or copied without express permission by either Richard or Galina Leighton.




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About The Author

Pro photographer, writer, master naturalist, Florida native in the PNW, lucky husband, father of two boys, big hockey and soccer fan, and native orchid hunter.

Comments (7)

  • bonnie whicher

    What was the setting on your camera and what kind of lens did you use?
    Love the colours
    Absolutely gorgeous my friend!!

  • Rich Leighton

    Thanks Bonnie 🙂 I shot fast – about 1/1000th sec at about f4.5. ISO was around 800, I think….

  • Coral

    Beautiful photo. I love nature shots you get to so many great things out there.

  • Luci Wies

    This looks like a perfect nature painting – so perfect in colour and design. Nice work!

  • Maxciriloy

    Beautiful picks. I like to go natural resorts…

  • Peter

    beautiful shot!

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