The Feather Report – What makes sparrows unique?

Warm russet coloured beak of a Field Sparrow

By Rachel A. Powless Feather Reporter Photos by Carl Pascoe & Rachel A. Powless What makes sparrows so difficult to ID? Years ago, an irritated, exasperated and very exhausted birder or was it a Professor of Ornithology drained from frustration more so than surrender, emphatically stated, “Let’s call all of them an LBJ; Little Brown Jobs and leave it at that!” I wish it were so, but I’m afraid not. There are approximately fifteen species of sparrow that will migrate through our province and many of them will stay to breed while others will move farther north. There are twenty-five species of sparrow in all of the US and Canada. We cannot forget the 8-10 other species of birds which can confuse the birder again. Yes, they may look like…

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