Sparrows, Sparrows, Sparrows

Since this blog is basically about birding, and bird photography, I have been sitting here pondering what to put in my next (this) post.  Thinking back, I didn’t know a sparrow from a pigeon before I got into serious birding.  Well, I guess pigeons were bigger, right?   Anyway, now I have come to appreciate just how many species of birds there really are.  In the area where I live, according to the people that know these things, there are thirty different species of sparrows alone.

To be perfectly fair, actually they are not all sparrows.  Four of those species classified in the sparrow family are towhees, three are longspurs, and one is a junco.  That still leaves twenty-two named sparrows, just here in the Concho Valley.  There are more than fifty species including other regions of the country. 

Like any other non-birder, I thought all sparrow looked alike.  Wrong!  Since I now consider myself a birder, albeit a little new at it, I have discovered that there are really many beautiful sparrows to be seen and photographed.  You can see from the following examples.

House Sparrow

Pictured above is the common House Sparrow (Passer domesticus).  Now I ask, isn’t this a pretty little bird.  Nice rich colors of brown, with that little patch of gray on his head, and that black chest, not to be confused with the Black-throated Sparrow.

Black-throated Sparrow

The above is the afore-mentioned Black-throated Sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata).   Another little cutie.

Lark Sparrow

Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)  Another pretty bird with distinctive markings that you can’t miss.

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)

Field Sparrow

Field Sparrow (Spizella pusilla).  So these are five of my favorites.  Now when you see a sparrow, take a closer look, and you may be surprised at what you see.  Click on any image to see an enlargement.

16 thoughts on “Sparrows, Sparrows, Sparrows

  1. Sparrows are the bane of my bird-identifying existence, but I’m getting better. We had our first-ever fox sparrows at the feeders yesterday, lured in by this severe cold snap.

    • Hi Joy, thanks for visiting and commenting. I appreciate it.

      I agree with you about the difficulty of IDing sparrows. They drive me up a wall. I am afraid to make an ID most of the time, because I might end up embarassing myself, which I’ve done on a few occasions. 🙂 Fortunately I have some friends that are more knowledgable that I can turn to. I hope you will visit again.


  2. You’re almost half-way to a sparrow calendar! Beautiful images, all of them, but the pose, the simplicity and the gorgeous, gorgeous light make the one of the white-crowned sparrow my favourite.

    • Thanks Cindy. Another calendar?? Hmmm….you may be onto something. 🙂 About the White-crowned Sparrow, I love it when I have a subject situated in the open, where I can use a large aperture and blur the background more. It makes for a nice bokeh. Thanks for you great compliments. I appreciate them as always.


  3. You are a birder and a good one at that. Someone once said, “the more you look the more you see.” And you, my friend, are seeing alot. And sparrows are very interesting birds. Lots of varieties and sometimes can be very challenging. Nice pics, Bob.

    • Wow, I am stepping up in the world. You called me a good birder. That’s a first. But seriously, thanks, for the kind words, Dave. I definitely am trying to get better at it. 🙂

  4. Amazing! and here I always thought a Sparrow was a Sparrow.
    Those are beautiful Bob! makes me appreciate the Sparrow more.
    In addition to those you also have Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean), and being from the Caribbean, our most popular Sparrow is the Singer, whom you probably never heard of, a famous Calypsonian who called himself Sparrow.
    Of your photos, however, the House Sparrow and the Lark Sparrow have my interest more 🙂

  5. Great post here, Bob! I had no idea there were that many variations of the sparrow. The House Sparrow looks almost like a Finch to me – I thought that was interesting! I love learning about birds from you – and your photography is amazing!

    • Gee, there is so much to learn about birds. I have to be very careful when identifying them, which I am still not very good at. But I dig into my 10 or so bird field guides, then hope I get it right. But what fun! Thanks for your kind words on my photography, and you’re not so bad at it yourself. 🙂

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