On a recent morning walk along a snow covered sidewalk, I heard the sweet whistles of a songbird. I looked up and noticed a little fluff of feathers in a pine tree. The wee bird was mostly brown, soft gray, white and streaked with black; nothing fancy; but his voice made such a clear musical song it prompted me to study.
I’ve learned there are many species of sparrow and that they look similar at first glance. The sparrow I saw in the tree may have been an American Tree Sparrow; however it’s quite possible it may have been another species of sparrow.
There are at least two dozen subspecies of sparrows in the world based on size and plumage color. Typically sparrows are 5 ½ to 6 ½ inches long with a bill that is dark on top and yellow below. They are colored in tones of brown to grayish white, which helps to camouflage them as they are usually found on the ground.
Populations of sparrows are widespread and prefer cooler climates found in the northern two-thirds of the United States and in Canada. They can be found in hedgerows, weedy fields, brushes, marshes and in open forests searching for seeds.
I created this bird drawing by using a combination of Prismacolor graphite and soft core colored pencils on acid free, archival drawing paper. The dimensions measure roughly 7 x 5 inches. The next time I hear a song on my way into work, perhaps I’ll see another sparrow to study.