Sparrows are one of the most common bird species. But there are so many types of Sparrows, even here in Central Ohio, that it is a challenge to find and photograph the many different types in the region.
Sparrows are numerous all year in this area, but the population and variety increase significantly in the spring. Song Sparrows, Field Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, Grasshopper Sparrows and many others all share space in the fields and forests.
The most common, as least in my photographs, is the Song Sparrow. But I also have hundreds of images of Field Sparrows and House Sparrows, as well as dozens of images of other Sparrows.
As always when I'm photographing wildlife, these images were shot with my Canon EF 600mm f/4L lens and a Canon 1.4x teleconverter. This creates an effective focal length of 840mm, allowing me to fill the frame with the bird without getting close enough to scare off the bird.
I'm often asked how I get birds to "pose" for my photos. It's all about distance and patience.
The long lens provides enough distance so I'm not invading the bird's space. If I remain motionless and at a bit of a distance, the birds ignore me.
As for patience, I'd like to claim that every bird photo I take turns out like these, but that's not the case. For every photo worthy of display I'll have numerous photos that aren't. The bird may be looking away. A plant may be blocking the view. The background may be cluttered. Or the photo just isn't appealing. So I stand and wait for the right moment, fire off a number of frames and hope magic happens.