A summary of sparrows
I do love sparrows. There are really only eight native sparrows we’re likely to encounter at feeders in winter in our area. Towhees and Juncos are technically in this group but they aren’t likely to be confused with any other bird. The House Sparrow is not at all related to the native sparrows but we call it a sparrow and it’s very common at back yard feeders.
I’ve created a little table to help me differentiate the common sparrows using their most diagnostic features. For some species these features may vary between the breeding and non-breeding seasons. For birds that show this seasonal variation the table refers to birds seen in the non-breeding season - generally considered to be August through March.
White-throated Sparrow adult