Antelope Island Sagebrush Sparrow

Sagebrush Sparrow perched in greasewoodSagebrush Sparrow perched in greasewood – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

It was a real treat for me yesterday morning to photograph another Sagebrush Sparrow on Antelope Island State Park when I spotted it pop up on a clump of greasewood. I haven’t had many opportunities with this sparrow species and after photographing one the end of September I found myself wishing for more views and more photos of this small bird. The bird wasn’t as close as I would have liked when I took this photo but it was closer than the bird I photographed a few weeks ago so I was happy even though the setting was a bit more cluttered.

Perky Sagebrush SparrowPerky Sagebrush Sparrow – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The White-crowned Sparrows nearby didn’t seem to like the Sagebrush Sparrow being in the area and while I was with it I saw them chase it several times, fortunately for me they chased it closer to me rather than simply chasing it far from my view. When the Sagebrush Sparrow came in closer I was ready for it. The setting for this image was also on a greasewood but it was less messy looking than where I took the first photos so I was happier still.

Sagebrush Sparrow lift offSagebrush Sparrow lift off – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

When the Sagebrush Sparrow was chased again by the aggressive White-crowned Sparrows it perched out in the open on top of the greasewood a little bit further away with sun-dried grasses in the background and I was able to photograph it at the moment it lifted off. I thought it might be my last chance with the small bird for the morning.

Adult Sagebrush SparrowAdult Sagebrush Sparrow – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

It wasn’t. After refinding it perched out in the open a few yards from the greasewood clump I was able to take a long series of images of the Sagebrush Sparrow. It gave great views of its white eye ring, the patches of white in front in front of its eyes, its soft gray head and streaky back.

Sagebrush Sparrow in a light breezeSagebrush Sparrow in a light breeze – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

The Sagebrush Sparrow I found and photographed spent quite a bit of time perched out in the open yesterday morning which allowed me to take hundreds of images of it before another White-crowned Sparrow flew in to chase it into a clump of greasewood that was too far away to take quality images of it.

I was thrilled to have this elegant, elusive bird in my viewfinder again especially since this species has been on my wish list for a long time.

Life is good.



  1. Linda Chowns October 18, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Absolutely lovely.

  2. Patty Chadwick October 17, 2017 at 3:55 pm


  3. Patty Chadwick October 17, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    What wonderful shots of a a super cute little bird!!! I like all four images, especially like rhe last three images…how the heck you can spot them amazes me!!!

  4. Elephants Child October 17, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Another charmer. Your eagle eyes impress me nearly as much as your photography.

  5. Laura Culley October 17, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I have NO idea how you locate these little guys at such a distance. All I know is I couldn’t do it, so thank you for these lovely images of such a gorgeous little sparrow. Interesting that the white-crowned sparrows didn’t appreciate its presence!

  6. Liz Cormack October 17, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Wonderful detail as always…..”guide book” perfect. Beautiful little bird.

  7. Tim traver October 17, 2017 at 7:12 am

    What a treat! Thanks for this. Cool eye ring. Never seen this one in all my trips west.

  8. Michael Pope October 17, 2017 at 5:04 am

    You are a magician such definition and clarity I enjoy you photos and art so much Thank you! From The Philippines!

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