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Still adding to my catalog of local birds and happy to report a fine capture of a White-Throated Sparrow! 🙂 I’d been following this species for quite some time and finally all the elements (composition, lighting, subject) came together.

"Looking Back" (White-Throated Sparrow, Adult White-Striped, Zonotrichia albicollis) Nikon D300, 1000mm (600mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/60s, ISO 640, Selective Silver Efex Pro Sepia Toning

“Looking Back” (White-Throated Sparrow, Adult White-Striped, Zonotrichia albicollis) Nikon D300, 1000mm (600mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/6.7, 1/60s, ISO 640, Selective Silver Efex Pro Sepia Toning

The males and females are identical so we shall never know which sex is shown here, but no matter. You can choose whatever one works for you. 😉 

I chose to apply selective toning (once again) for this image but this time in sepia since it nicely supports the bird’s natural coloration. 

Now where’s that male Cardinal…?!!


  1. Ask Amber… She can sex tree’s apparently, so I’m sure she’ll have no trouble at all with a mere sparrow.. lol..
    Gotta love his / her little yellow sunglasses too… Sweet shot Tracy… 🙂

    • Ha! Yes, I’ve heard that but I’ve also heard she doesn’t reveal her methods…hmmmmm 😉

      Yes, s/he has this sort of super-hero vibe dontchathink??

      Thanks much, Brian! 🙂

  2. How cool is THAT photo! I love the “V” shape on the head paired with the fan shape below the beak… and I didn’t realise that sparrows had so much colour. Wonderful!

    • Me either! What I am finding IS, there are all kinds of sparrows! (and finches and wrens, etc.) When I was first shooting these guys, I didn’t even see the yellow until going through the images on-screen. Then I knew I just HAD to get a good shot!

      Thanks, kiwidutch! 🙂

  3. Fantastic shot! Well worth the wait I’m sure!

  4. ohhh pretty !!!

    • Thanks, Mel!

      (Sorry you guys are having such terrible weather… 😦 )

  5. Ooh, I love it!
    You’re looking for that male cardinal? Saw him sitting on my fence the other day when I was in the kitchen cooking dinner…. or was it washing dishes? Either way, he would have been gone by the time I got outside with the camera.

    • Thank you, Michaela!

      Yep, that happens to me too with the Cardinals. When I’m outside all set up, no cardinals. When I’m outside filling feeders, watering, etc., then they show up. On the day we were installing the bamboo sections, he just sat in a tree about 15 feet from me – the little bastard! 😉

  6. that fence is awesome! with those twigs all tangled up in it? killer. his/her superhero mask is pretty rad too.

    don’t know how you manage to make these selectives not look cheesy, but you succeed.

    • Ha! Sooo, the ugly chain link fence is awesome?? Kidding…I know what you mean. Typically, there are bramble vines all tangled up in the fence (that was my initial way to trying to cover it!) Since we are in the process of covering it with bamboo (which is looking awesome btw) the vines had been cut back. I actually like those twigs as well…sort of implies that no matter how much man mucks with nature, nature fights back!

      That bird is so rad! I think s/he knows it too based upon the expression! 🙂

      Thanks! I really do try to make the selective colorations subtle. I think the trick is picking a color that is already close to what is happening in the background as well as doesn’t fight with the main subject.

      • it’s amazing how different a chain link fence can look between real life and photography. it isn’t something you want to look at every day in real life- seems really oppressive to me. but in photography it has geometry and repeating lines, dull shine and steely weathered color, and an industrial quality that offsets nature fantastically.

        so i say leave a small portion of the fence un-bambooed, coat it with peanut butter and bird seed, and snap away!

        hurry up with the bamboo will you?! 🙂 i want to see it with a male cardinal standing proudly on top.

      • Yep, I agree! I didn’t used to see it this way, but now with THREE different really great images of the fence and birds, I’m beginning to!

        Oh, no worries on having bare chain link left! (We’ve got something like 350 feet of it and we are only covering 96 feet). I like your idea of covering it with PB and seed – oh the feeding frenzy that would ensue! LOL!

        You send over the male cardinal all ready to pose nicely and I will be there with camera! 🙂

  7. This guy’s just kickin’ it, relaxing the leg. He has you pegged tho. I usually get that look from people I candidly snap. 🙂

    Another good one!

    • LOL! Thanks for noticing the legs – I love the stance! I typically don’t use photos of birds with them looking directly at the lens since it tends to make them look mean. Not sure why that isn’t the case in this shot. I think it is the slight tilt of the bird’s head. Oh, and there’s also this great part of the birds mouth showing to the right of the beak that is probably not evident on the web. Just a cool cat for sure! 🙂

  8. Love when they get eye to lens. S/he might be Vulcan by the angle of those yellow stripes. 🙂 Nice shot.

    Male cardinals…got them all over the place when I don’t have my camera or the proper lens. It’s a conspiracy!

    • Thanks, Scott! Yep, I can see the Vulcan/Romulan vibe… 🙂

      Glad to hear it isn’t only me! WHAT is it about those red birds!! I think the Russians are behind it… 😉

  9. Got to chime in here and say how much I love those yellow stripes! We’ve got sparrows all over the place here, just 2 hours away from you, and I’ve never seen one like that.
    Here’s the only luck I’ve ever had with the male cardinal; its not terribly sharp because I still need to practise my stance shooting with my telephoto:

    • Hi Karma! I’m sure the sparrow would be quite pleased with your compliment! 🙂

      Yes, those male Cardinals are elusive!! Just as soon as you lock onto one, they are quick to flee! Sad to say I have LOTS of images similar to yours there – LOL! (And, just to be clear – I have nothing against the female Cardinals. I already have a pretty fantastic shot of a female so now I am on the hunt for the male! The females are just as elusive as the males so I certainly wouldn’t turn down the opportunity photograph one again!)

      Thanks for commenting!! (BTW, have you had as crazy a weather today as us?? Sun, rain, more sun, clouds, more rain, HAIL(!) and now sunny but windy – geesh!) 🙂

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