Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Spunky Sparrows

I became a birdwatcher quite by accident in January of 2013. I was stuck in the house due to disability from Multiple Sclerosis, and I had nothing much to take photos of. We've always had a bird feeder set just outside the kitchen window in the winter months. My goal was to feed the birds, not take photos. Upon endless hours inside, I started to watch the feeder, and take pics. I remember some of my first shots were "just" hoards of sparrows gutsing out at the feeder.
 
Now, months later, I am fascinated by birds, and I love taking photos of them.
 
Here are some of the sparrows that frequent my feeders, and I can now identify most members of the "hoards".
 
 
Chipping Sparrow
The Chipping Sparrow is a slender, fairly long-tailed sparrow with a medium-sized bill that is a bit small for a sparrow. Summer Chipping Sparrows look clean and crisp, with frosty underparts, pale face, black line through the eye, topped off with a bright rusty crown. It can be distinguished from the American Tree Sparrow by it's black, rather than rufus eye stripe.
 
 White-crowned Sparrow
The White-crowned Sparrow is a large sparrow with a small bill and a long tail. It has bold black and white head stripes, clean gray throat and breast, pale brown sides, gray belly and a brown and gray streaked back .
 
White-throated Sparrow
The White-throated Sparrow is a large, full-bodied sparrow with a fairly prominent bill, rounded head, long legs, and long, narrow tail. They are brown above and gray below with a striking head pattern. The black-and-white-striped head is augmented by a bright white throat and yellow between the eye and the bill, which is gray. They’re also a great entrée into the world of birdsong, with their pretty, wavering whistle of Oh-sweet-Canada. These forest sparrows breed mostly across Canada, but they’re familiar winter birds across most of eastern and southern North America and California.
 
House Sparrow
House Sparrows aren’t related to other North American sparrows, and they’re differently shaped. They are chunkier, fuller in the chest, with a larger, rounded head, shorter tail, and stouter bill than most American sparrows. Male House Sparrows are brightly colored birds with gray heads, rufus sides, white cheeks, and a black bib.
 
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49 comments:

Indrani said...

Such cute shots!
They are a joy to see. :)

TexWisGirl said...

love them all! keep 'em coming, birder!!!

Gail Dixon (La.Belle) said...

You've been bitten by the birding bug! Love it! Amazed at all the different sparrows you are seeing at your window. Beautiful shots!

Sylvia K said...

I always LOVE your birds!! Today is no exception!! What cuties they are and your captures are terrific, Karen!! I think I'm catching your "bird love"!!! Hope your week is going well!

DeniseinVA said...

I am going to bookmark this post Karen. As a fledgling birder myself who is learning every day, it is great for identification. Thank you so much!

Buttons said...

Wow I had no idea there were that many Sparrows around here I must say I love the White Throated Sparrow that sings Sweet Canada:) Your photos are amazing and your knowledge blows me away and makes me very happy you are sharing. Keep going I have a lot to learn. :) B

Laura said...

beautiful, beautiful details Karen!

Mama Zen said...

Stunning shots!

Leora said...

What lovely photogenic birds. You do have a way with the camera.

Gary said...

All are beauties!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Frank said...

A great set of images which should enable anyone to differentiate between the separate species. Very well done Karen.

HansHB said...

Nice post for WBW!
Well done!

MyMaracas said...

Bird feeders should come with a warning label: May cause addiction.

These are wonderful photos, and a great guide to the "little brown birds"! We have tons of chipping sparrows, and we see the white throated and white crowned sometimes. Fortunately, no house sparrows have taken up residence.

Linda W. said...

Your bird photos are great! I too have a backyard feeder right next to a large picture window. But my bird photos through the window glass don't turn out very well. I guess I need to hide myself somewhere outside. :)

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Spunky maybe, but I see true beauty in their colors!! Great images.

Brian King said...

These are fantastic shots! I'm not a fan of House Sparrows, but they're here to stay.

Karen said...

Your bird photo's are wonderful, looks like you have a wide variety to photograph too.

Dave said...

Brilliant post - it reminds how much I love seeing sparrows on WBW. Gary (and Boomer) is a regular poster of them as well.

mick said...

Great photos and an interesting series of sparrows. The only one I see here in Australia is the House Sparrow

eileeninmd said...

Great collection of Sparrow shots! Well done!

RedPat said...

These are wonderful pics of the sparrows, Karen. It is so nice to hear the white-throated sparrow singing away.

Gordon said...

I love your Sparrows Karen, good clear pics. and such veriety.
Take care Gordon.

Carver said...

Wonderful shots of the birds.

Rambling Woods said...

Karen...that is how I started watching the birds here 9 years ago... I never feel alone now with my birds friends... Nature is helping me heel once again... Michelle

Carole M. said...

wow Karen you sure have a lovely variety of sparrows coming to your house; lovely photos; well done!

Meghana Hassan said...

wow, u find quite a lot of sparrow's at your place...

Elephant's Child said...

Snap. My bird obsession started in a very similar way - and I now spend LOTS of time watching... Love your sparrows.

Carletta said...

Such beautiful shots!
I've had all but the house sparrow at my feeders . The chipping sparrows are my favorite little guys.

Debbie said...

you have an awesome variety of birds karen and the images you get are breathtaking!!

i didn't realize that you were new to the birding bug!!

Gunilla Bäck said...

Excellent shots!

i stora drag said...

Very nice photos of your Sparrows, I didn't there were that many sorts of them! You did a great job and it is so fun wathing birds!
Greetings Pia

NatureFootstep said...

one thing for sure, sparrows look great. :)

Arija said...

Real individualists and each one with his own special features.

Phil said...

A lovely story of how you "found" birds Karen and it's now obvious how much pleasure they give you. Great pictures - take lots more please.

Stewart M said...

Nice birds - we have house sparrow too - courtesy of the UK!

I think photoshopping the post out may be a bit more than I want to do!

Cheers - and thanks for linking to WBW - Stewart M - Melbourne

Ken Schneider said...

Nice sparrow collection and descriptions!

Les... said...

wow! great pics and such an informative post!! well done *VBS*

amazing how we miss so much in life till we take the time to notice and observe and suddenly find a whole new appreciation and enjoyment of the things that are always around us. *S*

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

You have become an expert... both an expert birder and an expert photographer. This amateur (at both) is in awe and grateful to you for what you've taught me. Thank you.

Rebecca said...

What a wonderful series! Great photos :)

EG CameraGirl said...

Your photos are excellent. Birding truly is fun, isn't it?

Pat said...

Great shots showing the identifying details of these sparrows.

Icy BC said...

I am starting to learn how to identify sparrows too. We don't have or I didn't see House sparrow or chipping sparrow, but we have lots of black-throat sparrows and American song sparrows!

Gorgeous shots!

prairiebirder said...

Wonderful post and photos, the Chipping Sparrow is my favorite! I have a similar post about sparrows too! Here's mine: http://prairiebirder.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/dont-overlook-sparrows/

prairiebirder said...

Wonderful post and photos, the Chipping Sparrow is my favorite! I have a similar post about sparrows too! Here's mine: http://prairiebirder.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/dont-overlook-sparrows/

Terri said...

Fantastic shots!

Liz said...

Oh wow!! What divine little Sparrows!!

That Someone said...

Always an eye for detail. Delightful birds.

Me said...

I think the White Crowned is my favourite, but they`re all gorgeous.

The Furry Gnome said...

Fabulous close photos of these sparrows. Shows the differences really well.