Texas Sparrow (Birds Eye View – 35 Types!)

Read In: 5 minutes

Texas’s warm weather and dominant agricultural nature make it a home for many Texas sparrow species. The state is also an attractive destination for migrant sparrows between seasons. So, you’re sure to spot one type or another of these birds everywhere in the state all year round.

Texas has over 35 types, the most popular being the House sparrow. We can put these birds into three categories according to the season they spend in the state. That’s not even counting the migrant sparrows stopping to rest before moving on to their final destination.

House sparrow - Texas View

Types of Sparrows in Texas: In Numbers

Here’s a brief overview of the number of sparrows that call Texas home throughout the year.

Season Year-round residentsSummer Winter During migrationRarely-spotted
Number of species732322
Number of Texas sparrows

All-Year Sparrows in Texas

Texas has an abundance of weeds and grass seeds in winter. It also has a variety of insects in summer. For these reasons, the state is a perfect permanent environment for sparrows.

Additionally, the nature of buildings with holes and widespread trees in the state gives these birds a lot of nesting opportunities.

Here are the most common types of all-year sparrows:

  • House sparrow
  • Grasshopper species
  • Olive sparrow
  • Black-throated sparrow
  • Rufous-crowned sparrow

House Sparrow

Originally from the Middle East, these adorable birds were introduced to the US long ago. Today, they appear in over 21% of the bird checklists in Texas in both summer and winter.

House sparrow is one of the most common birds in Texas. They’re widespread in all 254 countries throughout the state.

READ   Texas Fishing License (All Waters Detailed)

They’ve adapted to living near humans. So, it’s easy to spot them near buildings and houses in urban areas.

How to Identify Them?

Females are pale brown, and their backs are full of black streaks.

Males also have the same pale brown color. Still, they’re a bit more colorful; They have white cheeks, gray crowns, and black bibs.

A house sparrow perched on a tree stump. - Texas View

Grasshopper Sparrow

Some Grasshopper sparrows live in central Texas all year. The others spend the summer in the north and move to the south during the colder months.

You can find them in open spaces like prairies or grassland. Mostly you’ll see them on the ground because they prefer running and walking to flying.

They mainly feast on insects, especially grasshoppers.

How to Identify Them?

The females and males of this species share a similar appearance. Their color is a mix of browns and tans with an orange mark right above their eyes.

They’re known to have flat heads, thick necks, and short tails.

Grasshopper Sparrow - Texas View
Grasshopper Sparrow – Photo by Gregory “Slobirdr” Smith

Winter Texas Sparrows

Texas weather in winter is less intense than in most other states. That’s why over 20 different sparrow species spend the winter season in The Lone Star State.

Using their thick feathers and ability to adapt to cool weather, they can easily stay in the state during the cold months.

These species are also good at building solid covers for their nests to protect them in harsh weather conditions.

This is a list of the most common winter sparrows in Texas:

  • Savannah sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Chipping sparrow
  • Lincoln’s sparrow
  • White-throated sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

You can spot Savannah sparrows in Texas from September till May. They prefer being in open areas like grasslands, which could be why they usually don’t visit feeders.

Still, you might find them looking for cover in your backyard if your house is near an open field or if your lawn has long grass.

These birds usually fly for short distances and walk most of the time. That’s why they build their nests at a low height or even on the ground.

How to Identify Them?

Both males and females have brown color in the upper parts and white color in the underparts.

READ   Explore Texas History - Uncover the Past with Expert Insight!

Their bodies are plump and have short, tiny tails. Additionally, they have yellow marks right above their eyes.

Savannah Sparrow Passerculus sandwichensis wing examination. - Texas View

Dark-Eyed Junco

Dark-Eyed Juncos are also called snowbirds. They usually stay in Texas from October till April. These winter birds stay in wooded and open areas, where they build their nests on the ground.

You can attract them to your backyard using sunflower seeds, peanuts, or corn.

How to Identify Them?

The smooth and soft plumage on these birds gives them a unique look. Both sexes are gray and have white bellies and long tails.

However, this is only their color pattern in Texas. The Juncos in other states belong to other subspecies that come with their own unique colors.

Dark eyed Junco Wind In Feathers. - Texas View

Summer Texas Sparrows

A few types of sparrows live in Texas only during the summer. They tend to fly south in the winter, searching for even warmer weather.

Here is the short list of Texas sparrows of summer:

  • Cassin’s sparrow
  • Lark sparrow
  • Botteri’s sparrow

Cassin’s Sparrow

These summer birds reside in Texas from March till September. You can spot them in dry grasslands or deserts, but they seem to prefer grasslands more.

They build their nests in tall grass to protect their little birds from other creatures. Cassin’s sparrows feast on different insects, like beetles and grasshoppers.

How to Identify Them?

Both sexes have a mix of brown, gray, and a bit of reddish-brown feathers. Their flanks have dark streaks.

Cassins Sparrow - Texas View
Cassin’s Sparrow – Photo by HarmonyonPlanetEarth

Lark Sparrow

This sparrow spends both summer and winter in the state. While it’s easy to spot anywhere in the state in the summer, you’ll only catch sight of it in the southeastern parts.

It usually builds its nest in orchards and woodlands, where it can find various insects like caterpillars and grasshoppers.

How to Identify Them?

The lark sparrow has a considerably long and large body and a blocky face.

Both sexes have white streaks on their brown tails and heads. They also have a white mark on the top of their eyes.

Lark Sparrow - Texas View
Lark Sparrow – Photo by Nature Pics Online

Texas Sparrow FAQs

How to Attract Sparrows in Texas?

The best way to attract sparrows is to set up a bird feeder in your backyard. Fill it with their favorite nuts and seeds. That way, they have their snack, and you enjoy these beauties up close and personal.

READ   Crabbing in Texas (Places, Times and Regulations)

What Are Sparrows in East Texas?

The best time to spot Sparrows in East Texas is in winter. You can visit nature sites and national parks, like the Mineola Nature Preserve and Lake Fork, to watch them during that season. There you’ll find the most common sparrows in the east: the House, White-Throated, and Bachman’s sparrows.

Grasshopper Sparrow Portrait


Author Profile
Christian Linden Texas View Headshot 3 - Texas View
Author at Texas View | Texas View

Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.

Share me 🙂

Read these ...