Where's Mom?

This is a fledgling chipping sparrow, Spizella passerina. Based on location, he must be S. p. passerina. He's close to two inches tall in this photo. Taken in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Reminds me of one of my favorite children's books, "Are You My Mother?".


I found his parents and siblings and released him after giving him a treat of waxworms, and taking his picture of course. Unlike mammals, most birds cannot smell and thus will not usually abandon young that have been touched by humans...not that it's a good idea though. I stuck around to make sure they fed him.


#418 in Explore, 25 July 2007

  • Misty Dawn 8y

    Awesome! Beyond words!
    Your work has inspired me!!
    You are INVITED to post it in...

    The Nature Group

    Seen in my contacts' photos. (?)
  • Cheryl Moorehead 8y

    What a great photo! Do you have a mini photo studio in your place?

    Seen in my contacts' photos. (?)
  • Matt Reinbold 8y

    Thanks guys!

    MM, nah, I live in a military barracks, but I have methods to make up for the lack of a studio ;)

    It actually looks quite crude. I'll set my fluorescent light fixture on two stacks of DVD's, a pair of cups, or whatever and set a piece of paper underneath while propping another sheet behind it using a book. I place my subject under the light. Then I adjust the white balance, aperture, and shutter speed of my camera manually, hope my subject doesn't move too much, and touch it up in Photoshop because my camera's only a Sony H1 and my "studio" is pretty makeshift.

    This is all done on my bathroom counter. Before I got the light fixture I just relied on the counter's whiteness and the lights already in my bathroom. The paper's cleaner and less textured than the countertop, and the light fixture is brighter and purer than the bathroom lights, plus I can adjust how close it is to the subject.
  • Ohio native in NC 8y

    so precious.
  • Ella 8y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called AGAINST THE WHITE, and we'd love to have your photo added to the group.
  • Yolande 8y

  • Matt Reinbold 8y

    Thanks Buckeye! That was gonna bug me for a long time.

    Thanks for the compliments too everyone, and the invite, haberlea. Looks like a good group :)
  • Oscar Albujar 8y

    Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuy Buena Foto!!!
    Felicitaciones, Congratulation, Parabens, etc
  • hanabi 8y

    cute photo, and nice story.
  • Ruthven78 8y

  • Jennifer 8y

    Wow- I did not know birds can't smell ! This is a great shot too. Love your creative lighting setup, title, and story.
  • Matt Reinbold 8y

    Thanks, Jen :) Well, some birds can smell, but the vast majority cannot. They rely mainly on eyesight, hearing, and their flight to survive, with little need for olfactory senses.
  • mary.cat 7y

    This photo is absolutely wonderful-

    I would very much like to chat with you about using this photo for an upcoming project. I just joined the site for this express purpose. OH, if i was a bit more savvy I am sure there is a way i could contact you directly-

  • Paper Ballet 7y

    are you my mother?
    awww.. there is also a book called "a mother for choco" where the bird finds an adoptive bear mother.

    it's a beautiful story... sorry so random.
  • e_monk 7y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Stuff With Two Legs, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Cyndy Sims Parr 7y

    You just need to photoshop in the SNORT. "You are not my mother . . ."
  • Mexycan 6y

    ahhhh, S W E E T ! It makes me think of one of MY favourite books,
    'The Bird's Christmas Carol" by Kate Douglas Wiggin (c;
  • Massimo c 5y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Animals on a white background, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • icemom.diane 5y

    Great photo! I'm using it on my blog post: icemom.net/2010/05/ask-the-ice-moms-coach-ignores-student...


    Ice Mom
  • EncyclopediaOfLife 3y

    Cyndy Parr commented on your image on the Encyclopedia of Life site:
    Trusted based on reputation of photographer.
58 faves
Taken on July 23, 2007
  • ƒ/2.8
  • 6.0 mm
  • 1/80
  • 64
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
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This photo is in 3 galleries

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