Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sparrows Sparrows Everywhere

When Mr Chipping Sparrow arrived in my yard in late March it was a first. By that I mean my first conscious effort to identify a sparrow as something beyond my previous notion that sparrows were brown little non-descript birds hardly worthy of notice. I noticed him, realized how striking he was and looked forward to the spring migration where I could identify as many sparrows types as possible. Chipping Sparrow with friend Indigo Bunting

Later Mr Science (Gary), introduced me to Fox Sparrows. Bold and Bright, they were everywhere in his farmyard. We hiked down the trail below his house and soon spotted White-Throated Sparrows, then Tree, Field and Song Sparrows.

Fox Sparrow

White Throated Sparrow

Song Sparrow
Tree Sparrow and Junco

Harris Sparrow

As few weeks ago I was invited to join Top Minnesota Birders John Hockema and Ranger Alex from Forestville State Park to check out the rare, in Minnesota, Henslow Sparrows nesting in the Hvoslev Wildlife Management Area.
Henslow Sparrow photo by Ranger Alex Watson

There are at least 35 bird species of sparrows in North America. Species of these birds can generally be located in five areas of North America. There are 15 species of sparrows, that can be found in most areas of North America, some more abundant and widespread than others. These are the American Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Harris's Sparrow, Le Conte's Sparrow, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow and the House Sparrow, which is now a common bird, first introduced to a New York City Central Park around 1850.

What an interesting and colorfull collection they make. Coming in a variety of shades and colors they can be found in many differents habitats. A world of birds unto their own. I can see I have my work cut out for me!


  1. Interesting post. Some of the native sparrows can be a little hard to identify. My favorites are the Song Sparrows. In the spring before nesting, they sing nonstop in this 'big' voice. I only see many sparrows as they migrate. The Fox Sparrows are easy because they are always doing that hopping/digging motion.

    The Harris Sparrow is a handsome one. I don't think I've ever seen one here. He might be easy to confuse with a House Sparrow at a distance. Don't think I've seen a Henslow Sparrow either.

  2. The Harris Sparrow is striking! I've neve seen one here, but I'm not very good at identifying sparrows.

  3. Very informative post and I love all the different sparrows!! All just beautiful photo's.

  4. Wow, so much for sparrows as "LBBs." We do have song sparrows around the house, and I delight in their quick notes and trills (so glad I got hearing aids a few years ago).

  5. I do miss all the birds that visited our garden when living down south.
    However, I do intend to plant some natives when spring arrives to encourage a few birds into the backyard of my rental.
    They are such a joy.

  6. Nice sparrow pictures--especially Harris! I'm heading down to Hvoslev early tomorrow morning to try and find the Henslow's sparrow.....should I stop by and pick you up??