The photos on this page were taken on February 6,
2005, at my parents home near Elmer, Louisiana. My parents have a 10
acre farm that is basically a clearing in the middle of pine and
hardwood forest. They put out a birdfeeder and it consistently draws a
greater variety of birds than mine. A number of sparrows have been
coming to that feeder and I took a photo
of a bird that I tentatively identified as a chipping sparrow. A friend
who is more familar with these birds suggested that it might be another
The sparrow in question.
The bird appeared at the feeder in a
group of 25 or so similar birds. There were also juncos, cardinals and
goldfinches present. The following photo is shown for a size comparison
among the birds present.
Sparrow with Goldfinch and Cardinal
As you can see from the photo this is
a very small sparrow, approximately the same size or just slightly
smaller than the Goldfinch next to it.
Two sparrows discussing elbow room.
For now, I will continue to identify
these birds as Chipping Sparrows on my Birds Of My Backyard page
largely based on the image of the Chipping Sparrow in winter on page
299 of the Peterson Field Guide titled "Birds of Eastern and Central
North America, Fifth Edition." But even that text shows several
possibilities based on coloration.
Why I think this is a Chipping Sparrow.
After much consultation, advice and
consideration, I have come to the conclusion that this is a
Chipping Sparrow because of the exclusion of the possible
altermatives, as follows:
This is not a Clay Colored Sparrow because:
1. Lore is dark, i.e.,
dark line extends from eye to top of beak
2. No streaks on the
3. Gray Rump
4. No yellow lower
5. Gray does not
extend to Nape
6. Face is not gray
This is not a Tree Sparrow because:
1. No dark spot on
This is not a female house sparrow because:
1. Too small