As a group, Sparrows can be one of the more difficult families to master, With just a little study, however, the identification details of many of the more common Sparrow species can be learned fairly quickly.
Start developing your Sparrow identification skills by reviewing the first three sections described below. Then utilize the Sparrow identification key as you start to work with the Sparrows you see. You’ll soon find the identification of this challenging group a fun endeavor and well within your capabilities.
Location, time of year, and habitat are the 3 clues to consider early in the identification process. Experienced birders use these automatically. For example, Song Sparrows are found in Texas only in the winter and prefer dense, bushy habitats. It is very unlikely that a Sparrow-like bird seen in August in the middle of a Texas field is a Song Sparrow. Wong time, wrong place usually equals wrong bird.
The following pages provide assistance in developing Sparrow identification skills.
Benchmark Sparrow – Study the Song Sparrow to become familiar with key field marks.
Frequent Four – These 4 species are widespread and often confused
Imposters – Don’t let these birds fool you
SPID Key – Use the Sparrow IDentification (SPID) key to aid in the identification process.
Hone your Sparrow identification skills by using these 4 sections and you’ll become an expert before you know it.
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