A song sparrow eats seed from the ground. Note the russet stripes on the head and through the eye. Also note the gray coloring between the stripes.

The last sparrow that I featured, the Savannah sparrow, is similar in appearance to this week’s bird, the song sparrow. However, there are a few key differences I will list in this column. Also, like the Savannah, the song sparrow is a winter visitor to Oklahoma.

A Savannah sparrow stands on a rock wall. Note the overall small head, and small pinkish beak with dark coloring atop the up- per mandible. Also, notice the bright yellow eyebrow stripe, and brown-streaked chest and side

The Savannah sparrow is a common winter visitor to Oklahoma but may often be overlooked. When I started writing about sparrows eight or so columns back, I mentioned that many people will call a sparrow a sparrow and leave it at that.

An immature herring gull, left with wings up, runs as it passes a great black-backed gull, right. While observing these birds recently, I noticed that the very large herring gulls — normally kings amongst ring-billed gulls — were quite skittish around the giant GBBG.

Typically, if a person in Oklahoma wanted to see a great black-backed gull, one would need to travel to the American Northeast or the East Coast to see one.

 white-throated sparrow, white-striped morph, prepares to bathe on a sunny day. Note the yellow lore on the white stripe and clearly defined white throat. The similar in appearance white- crowned sparrow lacks the yellow lores and clearly defined white throat.

I mentioned last week that the white-throated sparrow would be the featured creature for this week, and it will be, but first I need to mention another bird. I recently traveled to Lewisville, Texas, to see a great black-backed gull.

 A rather rotund male house finch drinks from a water feature. This was one of the most plump house finches I had ever seen. Normally, they are a little more slender. This one obviously is good at finding food. Look at him, he looks like a Thanksgiving turkey!

Once a bird of the Desert Southwest, the house finch has spread all over the United States. And that escalation was boosted when an eastern population was created 80 years ago.

 A pine siskin perches on a feeder while it eats Nyjer. Note the overall brown, streaky appearance. Also note the tinges of yellow on the wings, along with the sharp, pointed bill. The similar in appearance female house finch is larger overall, and has a large, conical seed-eating bill

The pine siskin is a winter visitor to Oklahoma, and can be quite common, but not always. These little finches may be scarce some years, and then abundant during others.

Topics will include “Human Trafficking 101,”“Apps, Gaming, Sexting and Internet Safety” and “How to Report Internet Crimes and Human Trafficking.”

Crossroads Baptist Church in Elgin is offering a two-day seminar on modern parenting this weekend. The seminar, “Parenting Today in an Oversexualized World,” will run from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Saturday and from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the church, 11423 NE 75th St. in Elgin.

Teach your child empathy

Exception to the rule. Yet now you would be hard-pressed to find a child who is not this way. How have television and video games come to rule our households? Three words. Easy. Way. Out.

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