Learn About Birds

Identifying Some Common Sparrows

There are about three dozen species of sparrows in North America. Look for key identification tips beneath the images of the most common sparrows shown on this page. Click on the image or the name of each bird for more photos, sounds, and detailed information on range and habitat.

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow
by Jennifer Taggart

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow
by Don Rash

Keys to ID:

  • Size: 6 1/4 inches long
  • Rusty-colored cap
  • Gray breast with dark spot
  • Lower half of beak is orange-yellow


Keys to ID:

  • Size: 5 1/2 inches long
  • Rusty red cap
  • Black and white eye lines
  • Clear gray breast, no markings


Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow
by William Parkin

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow
by Judy Howle

Keys to ID:

  • Size: 7 inches long
  • Large chubby body
  • Rusty red feathers mixed with gray
  • Heavy striping on breast
Keys to ID:

  • Size: 5 1/2 inches long
  • Whitish or yellowish eyebrow
  • Dark band partially circling eye
  • Pale stripe down the middle of crown

Field Sparrow

Field Sparrow
by Gregg Lee

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow
by Aileen Barnes

 Keys to ID:

  • Size: 5 3/4 inches long
  • Bright pink bill
  • Distinct white eyering
  • Gray on the face
Keys to ID:

  • Size: 5 3/4 to 7 1/2 inches long
  • Streaks on breast converge to spot
  • Broad whitish eyebrow
  • Dark stripes border white on throat

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow
by Tiny Gehrke


White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow
by Don Rash

 

Keys to ID:

  • Size: 7 inches long
  • Black-and-white striped crown
  • Clear gray breast
  • Yellow bill
Keys to ID:

  • Size: 6 3/4 inches long
  • Distinct white bib on throat
  • Yellow patch on eyebrow near bill
  • Clear gray breast

 

Male House Sparrow

Male House Sparrow
by Donald Metzner

Female House Sparrow

Female House Sparrow
by Rene Wilbur

Keys to ID:

  • Size: 6 1/4 inches long
  • Black bib
  • Black beak
  • Gray crown
Keys to ID:

  • Size: 6 1/4 inches long
  • Buffy eye stripe
  • Unstreaked breast
  • Overall brown, streaked back