Thursday, December 18, 2008

American Tree Sparrow and Chipping Sparrow

We presently have two sparrow species coming to our feeders and yesterday they were represented by one of each. We still have the one single Chipping Sparrow visiting daily and probably just one, or at the most two American Tree Sparrows.
When seen separately you might get these two a bit confused but when side by side, (which they are here by the magic of photo editing), you can see a difference in colouring and shading although the pattern on each is quite similar. A noticeable difference however, characteristic of the Tree Sparrow, is its bicoloured bill with the bottom part being yellow. And from this latter bit of information you should be able to id the sparrow on the right as the Tree Sparrow. An American Tree Sparrow also has a dark center spot on its breast.During a snowstorm the seed supply often gets covered with snow so I put a container filled with seeds on its side and in this way much of the supply remained dry throughout the day. Seen above is the Chipping Sparrow.

16 comments:

bobbie said...

I don't think I'll ever learn to tell them apart. But I love them.

Mary said...

I wish I had your photos last year when my first American Tree Sparrow showed up! I thought it was a Chipping Sparrow at first. In this photo it is so obvious that they are different, it makes me wonder how I confused them! That is a good idea about the container of seeds...will have to try that.

Deborah Godin said...

Good tip on the seed container! and great shots of the sparrows. I had a lone Chipper here yesterday -I find them easier to spot than Tree sparrows in a mixed flock. Will have to check my feeders more carefully now, and see if there are any still any 'Trees' around

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I must say you do an excellent job of photo editing.
Blesings,Ruth

A Portland Backyard said...

Fantastic photos! And such a great idea about the container. I will try that if we get more snow around here. Thanks!

2sweetnsaxy said...

Great photos. I can't believe you edited the first one together. I can't tell. Awesome job!
:-)

Sharon said...

What nice little friends you have! I don't know how you get anything done with these cute little birdies visiting you!

madcobug said...

It would difficult for me to tell the difference. Good idea on the bowl of seeds turned over. Helen

Becky and Gary said...

I like your idea about the seed in the container. My big feeder is covered, but still gets snow in it.
Sparrows are so plentiful, but if you look closely, they really are striking.
B.

Naturegirl said...

Great photos and info identifying the Sparrows! Love the idea of tipping the bird seed..what I need to do during our white out snow storm..Loved my visit here! NG @
Nature-Trail.

Ruth said...

What great pictures to compare the two sparrows. And you show the bi-coloured bill so well. I like your idea of the seed container on its side. I would have to secure it somehow or the squirrels would carry it off.

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

Beautiful side-by-side comparison between the two similar species.

Natural Moments said...

We used to get a lot of chipping sparrows in eastern washington. I always liked their reddish coloured caps.

Geri said...

Great shot of the birds, and how neat you can watch them.

ramblingwoods said...

This is a great way to demonstrate the difference and clever to put the seeds on the side. I was out frequently to take snow out of the ground feeders with the snow falling at an inch an hour..

Kathiesbirds said...

What a great idea!