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Tutt Library Research Guides

Birding Colorado Springs: Sparrows

Birds commonly seen in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas.

Sparrows

Sparrows are smallish songbirds with beaks that are thinner than those of finches. Adult male sparrows tend to be drabber than adult male finches, tending toward browns and grays. Sparrows are primarily seed eaters, but as with many birds they'll eat insects given the opportunity. Note: The House Sparrow is an invasive Old World species and not closely related to New World sparrows.

House Sparrow

http://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/3402321180/
Author: Sergey Yeliseev. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic

Info (All About Birds) Call (Macaulay Library) Video (YouTube)
  • Old-world species that aggressively displaces native birds.
  • Chirps monotonously.
  • Male shown: female slightly smaller, drab all over, with brown beak.
  • Often seen picking up crumbs underneath tables and chairs at restaurants with outdoor seating.

Spotted Towhee

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dvd5/336573959/
Author: Don Van Dyke. Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic

Info (All About Birds) Song (Macaulay library) Video (YouTube)
  • Towhees are colorful sparrows
  • Female Spotted Towhee similar to male but drabber
  • Towhees kick through leaf litter; they are often noticed via their rustling in undergrowth.
  • Gives a cheerful buzzy song and a harsh call

Song Sparrow

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Song_Sparrow-27527.jpg
Author: Ken Thomas. Public Domain.

Info (All About Birds) Song (Macaulay library) Video (YouTube)
  • Streaky sparrow that often feeds on or near the ground, near sources of water
  • Note pink legs and spot onbreast
  • Sings a pleasant song of slurred, fluty and harsh phrases

Chipping Sparrow

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:3425_Chipping_Sparrow.jpg
Author: Vkulikov. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Info (All About Birds) Song (Macaulay library) Video (YouTube)
  • Identified most easily by rufous (reddish-brown) coloration on head, eye stripe, streaked back and plain gray breast.
  • Often feeds on the ground; flies to low perches if disturbed
  • Call is a short, high pitched "tseep" similar to Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-Eyed Junco

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_t_in_dc/5523556217/
Author: MrTinDC. Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Info (All About Birds) Call (Macaulay library) Video (YouTube)
  • Dark-eyed juncos are divided into several subspecies with some geographical and color variations; however, all have solid dark gray or brown heads and upper backs, white bellies, and pinkish beaks
  • Often spotted by the white edging on their tails as they fly
  • Seen in Colorado in fall, winter, and early spring
  • Will come to feeders, but prefers to feed on ground or low to the ground
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