Juvenile Vesper Sparrow in Southwest Montana

/, Birds, Centennial Valley, Montana, Vesper Sparrows/Juvenile Vesper Sparrow in Southwest Montana

Perched juvenile Vesper SparrowPerched juvenile Vesper Sparrow – Nikon D500, f9, 1/1250, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I’ve come to the conclusion that I will never be able to go through all of the bird photos I have already taken, process them and share the most interesting images here at On The Wing Photography. Sometimes I take hundreds or even more than a thousand images in a day and I generally share just a few of those in blog posts the day after I take them. Then I go out into the field the next day and do the same thing and there are times I don’t get back to those older folders of images for a weeks or months so some images just sit around waiting for me to come across them again. Certain images do stand out though and eventually I try to remember to edit them and prepare them to share on my site and with the people who view my blog posts.

One of the photos I have been meaning to share is of this juvenile Vesper Sparrow that I photographed in the Centennial Valley of Montana this past summer. I have seen very few juvenile Vesper Sparrows and I have just a handful of images of them so when I spot one in good light I certainly want to do my best to photograph it.

I can’t recall if the blue tones in the background of this photo were from out of focus water, sky or distant shadowed mountains behind the bird, all three can look like this in the final photo, but I like how the cool tones of the background contrast with the warmer tones of the bird and the old fence post. The young sparrow was fluffed up because of the chilly morning temperatures and it was most likely waiting for an adult to bring it food.

Sparrow identification can be difficult plus the identification of juvenile sparrows can tax even those very proficient at sparrow ID. Even though I can’t see the rufous lesser coverts in this photo I can see the white eyering, the white outer tail feathers, longish tail plus the streaked back and chest found in Vesper Sparrow adults which aided me in my identification of this juvenile sparrow. It also helped that I saw and photographed adult Vesper Sparrows nearby so I knew that they were in the area.

Anyway, it only took me about five months to share this photo of the young Vesper Sparrow that I have been meaning to share since my trip up to southwest Montana this past summer.

Life is good.



  1. Utahbooklover December 8, 2017 at 12:23 am

    Nice image. There are so many different Sparrows; fun to see them with such detail. Your getting behind on so many images reminds me of my problem with email, books, videos, newspapers, magazines, and junk mail.

  2. Pepe Forte December 2, 2017 at 11:22 am

    The detail, colors and textures you captured in this pic are terrific. I can’t imagine how many more undiscovered treasures lay in your archives. Thanks Mia.

  3. Patty Chadwick December 2, 2017 at 8:14 am

    “Sparrow identification can be difficult”…Boy, Is that an understatement! I don’t remember seeing this little bird before, but so many sparrows look similar…am overwhelmed by number of images you take per day, per outing….can barely imagine how you must feel!!!

  4. Beth Ann Doerring December 2, 2017 at 7:45 am

    So glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t get back to all my photos! Cool picture.

  5. Laura M. December 2, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Beautiful photo! Thank you for mentioning id tips. I have a tough time with the id of many sparrows.

  6. Liz Cormack December 2, 2017 at 7:06 am

    Beautiful photos are better late than never. What a cute little bird.

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