Readers’ wildlife photos

March 28, 2021 • 8:00 am

It’s Sunday, which means we have a “theme post” of birds by John Avise. John’s notes and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them.

North American Sparrows

As PCC(E) informed us last Sunday, March 21 was World Sparrow Day. To honor that occasion (albeit belatedly), this week’s post will be photos of several sparrow species native to North America. Although generally conservative in plumage, many of these members of the family Emberizidae have a subtle beauty despite their lack of brightly colored feathers. About 25 sparrow species inhabit North America, many of which pose stiff challenges for birders to identify (and to photograph). Thus, this batch of pictures may be of interest primarily to bird aficionados.

Brewer’s Sparrow, Spizella breweri:

Chipping Sparrow, Spizella passerina:

Field Sparrow, Spizella pusilla:

Black-throated Sparrow, Amphispiza bilineata:

Sagebrush Sparrow, Amphispiza belli:

Song Sparrow, Melospiza melodia:

Lincoln’s Sparrow, Melospiza lincolnii:

Fox Sparrow, Passerella iliaca:

LeConte’s Sparrow, Ammodramus leconteii:

Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum:

Savannah Sparrow, Passerculus sandwichensis:

Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Aimophila ruficeps:

White-throated Sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis:

Golden-crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla:

White-crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys:

Lark Sparrow, Chondestes grammacus:

11 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Thank you for these beautiful pictures. New World sparrows are only rare visitors here in the UK so I always struggle to ID them even from great pictures like these!

    btw last I read they have been given their own family and are no longer grouped together with the Old World buntings.

  2. Sparrows deserve more attention and appreciation. As demonstrated by these lovely photos, they are more than just LBJs (little brown jobbers), especially my favorite visitors, the Chipping Sparrows with their cute little chestnut caps.

  3. Great photos! Thank you John.
    Considering the number of different genera represented, I wonder if many of these were just given their common name by someone who saw a bird and said “looks like a sparrow to me”.

  4. Lovely sparrows. You’ve helped me identify Lincoln’s Sparrow…I’m pretty sure I see them at our bird feeder. Like you said, sparrows are difficult to identify. They’re all “little brown birds” to me. 🙂

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