My achievement this morning was pissing this heron off

Annoyed this bird in the morning.

(This would be some kind of... sparrow? How do I tell what kind? There are about thirty different kinds of sparrow found around here and to someone uninitiated like me this is quite bewildering a variety of sparrows!)

@sajith I took a wild guess that you are in the Great Lakes area. So that eliminated sparrows from elsewhere in the country. The habitat is a field or meadow (but not a grassland), and that made Song Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, and Field Sparrow probable. The bird has a clear face, no marking. That immediately made me lean toward Field Sparrow, and it's the juveniles that have the really 'blank' face. I'd have to see more photos to make sure, but that's my best guess right now.

@BobTarte Aha! Thank you!

I am in Chicago's west suburbs. In the other photos I took, the bird is not in focus... and it was clear that this one is not comfortable with me getting too close, so I left quickly.

I was flipping through a book about North American birds at the library some time back, and was bewildered by the variety of sparrows. My mind is blown. :-)


@sajith With most sparrows, I start with habitat, knowing a Swamp Sparrow won't be in a field. That kind of thing. And knowing in general which species are reasonable in Michigan. Then I look to see if the breast is clear or striped/spotted and look at the face (stripes?) and the top of the head (cap? stripes?), and that usually narrows it down. Sparrows can be tough, but not as bad as sandpipers and gulls.

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