Friday, February 26, 2010

Field Sparrow Identification

For me sparrow identification is right up there with gull identification as far as difficulty goes. I think that part of the problem is that sparrows are not very large, which makes it more difficult to see their tiny field marks. The fact that they almost never seem to stand still also does not help.
Fortunately, if you are able to catch a pic or two it makes it much easier to ID them. I photographed this field sparrow near the Old Cedar Ave bridge in September. It can be identified by the stout pink bill, white eye ring and the gray and rufous pattern of the head. It resembles the American tree sparrow except that the tree sparrow has a bicolored bill and a dark spot on the breast.

5 comments:

KaHolly said...

I'm right there with you on having difficulty identifying sparrows! It's one thing to recognize them in the guides, and a totally different thing when you see them in the field! This little fellow is a beauty, and when you point out his i.d. marks, it's so obvious. If I saw one on my own? I'd probably be stumped!! Great post! ~karen

Tucker L said...

This is actually a young White-crowned Sparrow.

Carolyn Ford said...

These are 2 very nice photos of this little bird. And, I really like your focus too. Beautiful shots!

Japa said...

We have sparrows in our place but I'm not as familiar as you are. These are very nice captures.

Michael and Martha said...

Tucker's right - immature White-crowned Sparrow. Great blog!