I don’t have many paintings of sparrows and had to go back a few years to find this one of House Sparrows. These are not my favorite bird but it is fun to watch them in the restaurant eating area behind my gallery in Los Altos.
This small sparrow is very difficult to see. In breeding season it can be heard, but barely. The pitch of its song is very high and has a insect-like buzz to it. If it’s a windy day they are difficult to hear.
I did not sketch any sparrows in Costa Rica but here is a painting of related sparrows I did a couple years ago. White-crowned sparrows are in the same genus (Zonotrichia) as the Rufous-collared Dave photographed in Costa Rica. They are super abundant in our yard in the winter.
This perky sparrow has an extensive geographic distribution occurring from Southern Mexico to the southern-most tip of South America. We encountered a small group of them at the entrance to Los Quetzales National Park, Costa Rica which is located near Cerro de la Muerte, the mountain of death, on the Pan American Highway. Once you drive this stretch of road the origin of “mountain of death” becomes apparent. These sparrows were seen around 9,000-10,000 above sea level.. It was a cold, blustery, gray day when I photographed these birds and I wished there was more light to work with, but their beauty stands out even so.