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33 Birds that Look Like Sparrows (A to Z List with Pictures)

33 Birds that Look Like Sparrows

Examples of birds that look like sparrows include arctic redpoll, bewick’s wren, black rosy-finch, black-capped chickadee, and brown-capped rosy finch.

Birds can be difficult to identify, even for experienced birders. Many birds share similar features, making it hard to tell them apart. This can be especially true for smaller birds, like sparrows.

Birds that look like sparrows can be found all over the world. While they may resemble one another in appearance, they are actually quite different in terms of behavior and diet.

Let us take a look at some of the most common birds that resemble sparrows and discuss what sets them apart from a real sparrow.

Examples of Birds that Look Like Sparrows

1. Arctic Redpoll

Arctic Redpoll
Scientific NameAcanthis hornemanni
Type of AnimalBird
Rangenorthern Greenland

These little guys are found in the northern hemisphere and are known for their red caps. They feed primarily on seeds, making them a common backyard bird. Arctic redpolls are also famous for their Friendly nature, often congregating in large flocks.

2. Bewick’s Wren

Bewick's Wren
Scientific NameThryomanes bewickii
Type of AnimalBird
RangeSanta Cruz, Santa Rosa and Anacapa Islands

The Bewick’s wren is a small bird with a long tail. It is found in North America and parts of Mexico. This bird is brown and white with a streaked back. The Bewick’s wren is known for its loud, stuttering song.

3. Black Rosy-Finch

Black Rosy-Finch
Scientific NameLeucosticte atrata
Type of AnimalBird
RangeHigh mountains of the northern Great Basin region, from northeastern Nevada to southwestern Montana

The Black Rosy-Finch is a small bird that is found in the mountains of North America. They are black with pink or rosy red streaks on their wings and back. Black Rosy-Finches are known to eat insects and spiders.

4. Black-Capped Chickadee

Black-Capped Chickadee
Scientific NamePoecile atricapillus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangefrom New England to the West Coast

The black-capped chickadee is a small bird found in North America. These birds are drab in color, with a gray body and black cap. Chickadees are known for their loud, high-pitched call.

Black-capped chickadees are cavity nesters, meaning they build their nests in holes in trees or other structures. These birds are also known to hide food in crevices and bark for later consumption. Chickadees are not true sparrows, but they are often mistaken for them due to their similar appearance.

5. Brown-Capped Rosy Finch

Brown-Capped Rosy-Finch
Scientific NameLeucosticte australis
Type of AnimalBird
RangeArctic and alpine zones

The Brown-capped Rosy Finch is a small bird that is often mistaken for a sparrow. The most distinguishing feature of this bird is its brown crown and pinkish body. These birds are found in the mountains of central Asia and are very rare visitors to North America.

6. Canyon Wren

Canyon Wren
Scientific NameCatherpes mexicanus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeNorth American

Canyon Wren is a small bird with a long tail that is often mistaken for a sparrow. The most distinguishing feature of the Canyon Wren is its call, which sounds like a cascading series of notes.

7. Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren
Scientific NameThryothorus ludovicianus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe eastern half of the United States of America, the extreme south of Ontario, Canada, and the extreme northeast of Mexico

The Carolina wren is one of the most common birds that is often confused for a sparrow. It has a similar body shape and size as a sparrow, but it has a long tail that is often held upright.

The Carolina wren also has a brown Striped chest and a brown back with white spots. Its belly is usually white or light brown.

8. Cassin’s Finch

Cassin’s Finch
Scientific NameHaemorhous cassinii
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeevergreen forests in the mountains up to about 10,000 feet elevation

This Cassin’s finch has a reddish body and black wings with white bars. The male Cassin’s Finch is especially brightly colored, making it easy to spot.

While they may look like sparrows, these birds are actually quite different. Cassin’s Finches are known for their beautiful singing voices and their love of sunflower seeds.

9. Common Cactus Finch

Common Cactus Finch
Scientific NameGeospiza scandens
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe Galápagos islands

The Common Cactus Finch is a small bird that is found in the Galapagos Islands. It has a short beak and is brown in color. The Common Cactus Finch feeds on cactus flowers and seeds.

10. Common Redpoll

Arctic Redpoll
Scientific NameAcanthis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangenorthern Europe and Asia to northern North America, Greenland and Iceland

The Common Redpoll is a small finch that is found in the northern parts of North America and Europe. They have a red cap on their head and a yellowish-brown body. Common Redpolls are known to eat insects and seeds.

Related Article: Do Common Redpoll Have Red on Head?

11. Dark-Eyed Junco

Dark-Eyed Junco
Scientific NameJunco hyemalis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeconiferous or mixed-coniferous forests across Canada, the western U.S., and in the Appalachians

The Dark-eyed Junco is a small bird that is found in North America. These birds are known for their dark gray or black heads and white bellies. They typically have darker wings and tails with white stripes.

12. Desert Finch

Desert Finch
Scientific NameRhodospiza obsoleta
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethroughout the temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere and South America and in parts of Africa

The desert finch is a small bird that is found in the deserts of North America. These birds are brown and white with a long tail. They are often mistaken for sparrows, but they are actually quite different.

The desert finch feeds on seeds and insects, while the sparrow eats mostly insects.

13. Dickcissel

Dickcissel
Scientific NameSpiza americana
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe central United States from North Dakota south to Texas and east to Ohio and Tennessee and Alabama

The Dickcissel is a small, seed-eating bird that is found in North and South America. It has a streaked back and a conical bill. This bird is often mistaken for a sparrow, but it is actually quite different.

Read Also: Do Dickcissel Have Yellow Feathers?

14. Eurasian Wren

Eurasian Wren
Scientific NameTroglodytes troglodytes
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEurope and across the Palearctic – including a belt of Asia from northern Iran and Afghanistan across to Japan

The Eurasian wren is a small bird that is found throughout Europe and Asia. It has a brown back and head, with a white belly and breast. Its tail is long and narrow, and it has a pointed beak.

15. Grass Wren

Grass Wren
Scientific NameCistothorus platensis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangecentral Mexico south through Belize

The grass wren is a small bird that is found in Australia. It has a brown back and white underparts. The wings are brown with white stripes. The tail is long and brown.

The grass wren is a ground-dwelling bird that feeds on insects. It nests in the ground or in bushes.

16. Hawfinch

Hawfinch
Scientific NameCoccothraustes coccothraustes
Type of AnimalBird
RangeEurope, far eastern Asia, parts of central and southwestern Asia, and far northern Africa

The hawfinch is a stocky bird with a short tail and legs. The head is large in comparison to the body and the bill is thick and chunky.

Hawfinches are found in woods and hedgerows across Europe, Asia, and North Africa. They feed mainly on seeds but will also eat insects.

17. House Finch

House Finch
Scientific NameHaemorhous mexicanus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangewestern North America

The house finch is a small bird that is often mistaken for a sparrow. They are similar in size and shape, but they have some key distinguishing features.

For instance, house finches have reddish brown plumage on their back and wings, while sparrows are mostly gray. In addition, house finches have cone-shaped beaks, while sparrows have flatter beaks.

18. House Wren

House Wren
Scientific NameTroglodytes aedon
Type of AnimalBird
RangeCanada through the West Indies and Central America

The house wren is a small bird that is found in North and South America. It has a brown back and wings with white spots. The belly is white and the tail is black with white stripes.

19. Marsh Wren

Marsh Wren
Scientific NameCistothorus palustris
Type of AnimalBird
Rangewetlands filled with cattails, sedges, bulrushes, and Phragmites

This little bird is found in wetlands all across North America. Marsh wrens are small, brown, and sparrow-like in appearance. However, they have a long tail that is often held upright.

20. Medium Ground Finch

Medium Ground Finch
Scientific NameGeospiza fortis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe Galapagos Islands

The medium ground finch is a small bird that is found on the Galapagos Islands. These birds are relatively plain in appearance, with brown upperparts and lighter underparts. The males of this species have a streaked breast, while the females do not.

21. Mountain Wren

Mountain Wren
Scientific NameTroglodytes solstitialis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe Andes of northwestern Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and western Venezuela

The mountain wren is a small bird that is found in the western United States. It has a brown back and white underparts. The tail is short and square. The bill is thin and curved.

22. Pacific Wren

Pacific Wren
Scientific NameTroglodytes pacificus
Type of AnimalBird
RangeAlaska, and in mixed-species forests near streams

The Pacific wren is a small bird that is found in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. These birds are brown with a white belly and have a long tail. They are known for their loud, high-pitched song.

23. Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak
Scientific NamePinicola enucleator
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe boreal forests of northern Eurasia and North America

The pine grosbeak is a large, plump songbird with a short tail and bill. It is found in coniferous forests of North America and Eurasia. Pine grosbeaks are mostly gray or pinkish-gray in color, with males having brighter plumage than females.

24. Pine Siskin

Pine Siskin
Scientific NameSpinus pinus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeacross Canada, and to a lesser extent in the U.S

One of the most common birds that is often confused for a sparrow is the Pine Siskin. These small, brownish-yellow birds are found throughout North America and parts of Europe. They typically have streaked wings and a forked tail.

25. Purple Finch

Purple Finch
Scientific NameHaemorhous purpureus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangewestern Washington

The purple finch is a small bird that is typically found in wooded areas. These birds are a bit larger than sparrows and have a more rounded head. They also have a reddish-purple hue to their feathers, which is where they get their name.

26. Red Crossbill

Red Crossbill
Scientific NameLoxia curvirostra
Type of AnimalBird
Rangesouthern taiga forests from Alaska to Newfoundland

The red crossbill is a small finch with reddish-brown plumage. It has a unique crossed bill that helps it feed on pine cones. The red crossbill is found in North America and Eurasia.

27. Rock Wren

Rock Wren
Scientific NameSalpinctes obsoletus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangelow canyons to high in mountains

The rock wren is a small bird that is found in the western United States and Mexico. It has a streaked brown back and a white belly. The rock wren is known for its behavior of picking insects off of rocks.

28. Sedge Wren

Sedge Wren
Scientific NameCistothorus stellaris
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe U.S. and Canada and winter in the southeastern U.S. and northeastern Mexico

The Sedge Wren is a small bird that is found in marshes and wet meadows across North America. It has a streaked brown back and wings, with a white breast and belly. The Sedge Wren is a shy bird that is often heard but seldom seen.

29. Sinaloa Wren

Sinaloa Wren
Scientific NameThryophilus sinaloa
Type of AnimalBird
RangeMexico though individuals are seen almost annually in southern Arizona

The Sinaloa wren is a small bird that is found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. It has a long tail that is often held upright. The Sinaloa wren is brown and white with a streaked breast. It also has a whitish belly and a black bill.

30. Small Tree Finch

Small Tree Finch
Scientific NameCamarhynchus parvulus
Type of AnimalBird
Rangethe Galapagos islands

The small tree finch is a common bird in the Galapagos Islands. These birds are brown and white with streaked feathers. They have a long, thin beak that they use to eat insects and nectar.

31. Twite

Scientific NameLinaria flavirostris
Type of AnimalBird
RangeScotland, Ireland, and northern England

The twite is a small brown and white bird with a streaked back. It is found in Europe and Asia. The twite is similar in appearance to a linnet, but it has a forked tail.

32. White-Breasted Wood Wren

White-Breasted Wood Wren
Scientific NameHenicorhina leucosticta
Type of AnimalBird
Rangecentral Mexico to northeastern Peru and Suriname

The White-breasted Wood Wren is a small bird that is found in the forests of Central and South America. These birds are brownish-gray in color with a white breast and belly. They have a long tail that is often held upright.

33. Winter Wren

Winter Wren
Scientific NameTroglodytes hiemalis
Type of AnimalBird
Rangeacross Alaska and much of Canada and down into the coniferous forests of the northern United States

This small bird is brown with a streaked pattern on its back. It has a long tail that it often holds upright. The winter wren is found in North America and Europe. It feeds on insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates.

Conclusion

There are a surprising number of birds that look like sparrows.While all of these birds may share some similarities in appearance, they each have their own unique features that make them stand out from the rest.

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