• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Savannah or Vesper Sparrow? Reno NV USA (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Hi, I saw both of these birds yesterday (Sept 21, 20020) at Swan Lake Nature Study Area on the outskirts of Reno Nevada. At first I thought they were both Savannah Sparrows which are common here but then I noticed that a few Vesper Sparrows are also reported. Are they both Savannah? Vesper? one of each (if so which is which). The more I look, the more confused I get. Any insights into how you determine what they are would be gratefully appreciated! Kathy


  • Savanaha sparrow12 small.jpg
    Savanaha sparrow12 small.jpg
    157.1 KB · Views: 45
  • Savanaha sparrow Small.jpg
    Savanaha sparrow Small.jpg
    138.5 KB · Views: 47

bronze sunbird

Well-known member
They can be tricky to sort out. A few things to look for: Vesper Sparrows are very plain/drab sparrows. They are a bit oddly shaped compared to common sparrow - less plump. The white eye ring usually stands out. Savannah is more of a classic sparrow shape (similar to Song Sparrow). In the first image you can see a yellow patch forward of the eye which is a good indicator for Savannah (though not all birds show it).

Hope this helps.! :)


Well-known member
Thanks to all of you for helping me to sort this out!!!!!! I will keep all of your insight in mind going forward.

Best Wishes, Kathy

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
United States
Kathy, when you have a problem with an I D, don't hesitate to post an image here. That's what we're here for ;)


Well-known member
How do you distinguish Savannah from Song Sparrow? What does one look for?
I posted an ID that was kindly confirmed of a Song Sparrow but I based my ID also on range (Bay Area). Before I checked the range, it looked very similar to Savannah...
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread