Vesper Sparrow

Vickie Emms

Anola, MB., Canada

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Artist's Description

Top 9 in a Challenge in Songbirds of North America – September 1, 2010


Featured in The World As We See It…or as we missed it – August 5, 2010

I seem to be stuck in the folder of photos taken at the Bison Compound, Waterton National Park, Alberta, Canada.
We found this beautiful little Sparrow sitting on a wildflower right alongside the road.

Identification Tips:

  • Length: 5.5 inches
  • Conical bill
  • Long, dark tail with white outer feathers
  • White eye ring
  • Rusty lesser coverts (not always visible)
  • Brown upperparts with dark streaks
  • White underparts with dark streaks
  • Sexes similar
  • Juvenile plumage (Summer) somewhat darker
  • Found in open fields
  • Forages on the ground
  • Male often sings from high perch (tree, telephone wire, e.g.)

Similar species:

When flushed, the white outer tail feathers of the Vesper Sparrow are easy to observe. Other birds with this field mark are American Pipit, Horned Lark, Lark Sparrow and longspurs. All lack the heavily streaked breast of the Vesper Sparrow. When perched, the Vesper Sparrow looks similar to several other species of sparrows. Savannah has a yellow supercilium, pale central crown stripe, shorter tail and lacks rusty shoulder and eye ring. Song has rounded tail, breast spot, and lacks rusty shoulder and eye ring. Lincoln’s has a buffy breast. Baird’s and juvenile Grasshopper are larger-headed and shorter-tailed.

Canon EOS Rebel XTi; Sigma 150-500mm lens @500mm


Artwork Comments

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