Sparrows of The Concho Valley

Since spring migration isn’t in full swing yet, I have been prompted to do this post about this common, seemingly boring species of birds.  Sparrows are in huge abundance.  In the Concho Valley birding check-list there are 27 species of sparrow and towhees, that can be found around this area in which I live.  I am still learning to identify them individually, but it is not easy, as they each have their own individual field marks and nuances.  I have to consult my guides quite frequently.

So, having said that, here are some notable photographs that I have taken of these birds that people mostly ignore.  These are twenty-three of the most commonly seen here, albeit some are harder to find than others.  There are a few not listed that are rareities and don’t appear in this area except for rare occasions or migration, such as the Olive Sparrow that I have included.  Anyway, these photos show that all sparrows are not created equal.  You will also see that the other sparrow relatives, ie. juncos and towhees are included.


Lincoln’s Sparrow


Black-throated Sparrow


House Sparrow


Grasshopper Sparrow


Cassin’s Sparrow


Vesper Sparrow


Fox Swamp


Field Sparrow


White-crowned Sparrow


Chipping Sparrow




Lark Bunting – female


Rufous-crowned Sparrow


White-crowned Sparrow – juvenile


Swamp Sparrow


Clay-colored Sparrow


Savannah Sparrow


Song Sparrow


Dark-eyed Junco


Canyon Towhee


Spotted Towhee


Green-tailed Towhee


Whitae-throated Sparrow

I have included this photo of an Olive Sparrow.  While not seen in the Concho Valley, it did appear just a few miles south at the South Llano River State Park.


Olive Sparrow


So now you have seen my entire collection of sparrows that I have seen and photographed in my twelve years of birding around the the Concho Valley of west Texas.

By the way, in my quest to reach 200 different sightings for the year, as of today I have reached at total of 120.  Eight months to go.

I hope you enjoy this collection that I have put together.  Comments are welcome, and I would love to hear from you.  It lets me know that there are a few readers out there. 🙂

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‘Til the next time, HAPPY BIRDING!!!!














22 thoughts on “Sparrows of The Concho Valley

  1. What an amazing & impressive collection of photos of sparrows. Such a thrill to be made aware of their diversity of colors and shapes. I will never look at sparrows the same way again. Thank you for opening my eyes to the beauty of these little creatures.

    • Thank you very much, Bmoorman. I appreciate your kind comment. I, myself, was amazed when I discovered that there were so many different varieties of sparrows. Then when I decided to write this post, I realized that I had photographed every specie that could be seen here in my own area. I am glad you enjoyed it and I hope you will return.

  2. Hey Bob, this is a great collection of the little brown birds. I can see why snap IDs are impossible! Thanks for this amazing ID tool. Please tell me what the sparrow with yellow eyeliner is right before the Olive Sparrow. I think my computeris playing an April 1st joke on me. I know it is not a Green-tail Towhee or an Olive Sparrow. Or, was this a test?? I will be glad when the spring birds return for real; you are itching to mobilize your blind! hugs

    • Hi Beth, that is a White-throated Sparrow. I forgot to mention the name. I will go back and correct that. The spring birds are starting to arrive. Today saw our first Bullock’s Oriole and Western Kingbird.. More to come. 🙂

  3. You know you are serious about birding when you learn to ID sparrows. The House sparrow, so common that we take him for granted, is actually quite a handsome fellow. Woderful collection, Bob.

  4. Hi Bobster, what a remarkable collection! Your images, as always, are stunning! Looks like you are well on your way to meeting and beating your 200 sightings for the year. 🙂 (PS: I still can’t figure out how to change that grumpy looking default “gravatar” I’ve been given. Giggle!)

    • Thanks, Deb, for your kind words. But I know you are biased. But I still love to hear it. 🙂 :-). I have no idea how to help you with your avatar. I’ll get used to it. LOL

  5. Nice set of sparrows. I learned something about white throated sparrows yesterday at the Linnaean Society of NY meeting. The dark morph is more aggressive and promiscuous. The tan one is more peaceful and looks after the kids. Dark males like tan females and vice versa.

  6. That’s quite a collection of personal sightings and photography of sparrows. I appreciate your sharing. It’s educational and enjoyable too!

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