Date: 7/15/17 8:09 pm
From: Peter Nosler <pandmnosler...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Stymied by a Sparrow
Hello, all

I found this bird at River Island Natural Area (near Barton, downstream of
Milo McIver Park). It was hopping around in a row of trees that bordered
farmland and a pond.

It sounds like the consensus is Savannah Sparrow, which would certainly not
be out of place in this setting. I am starting to see Savannah Sparrow a
little clearer on this one now, especially with the yellow wash on the face
you pointed out, Dave. I feel relatively confident in eliminating
Lincoln's Sparrow as well.

Thanks for your help, everyone!
Phil Nosler

On Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 3:28 PM, David Irons <LLSDIRONS...> wrote:

> Phil, Jeff et al.,
> I would be interested to know exactly where along the Clackamas River this
> bird was seen and photographed. Juvenile sparrows, specifically
> Spizella are really challenging to ID at times. My first instinct was to
> presume this was presume Chipping, as that would seem to be the most likely
> species. However, there are number of features that point way from Chipping
> as a candidate. First, the lores are pale with no suggestion of the dark
> eyeline extending in front of the eye (between the bill and the eye). Note
> that the juv. Chipping Sparrow at the link that Jeff provides shows dark
> lores, which is typical of all ages of Chipping Sparrow.
> The second problem with calling this a Chipping is the sparseness of the
> streaking below and how fine the streaking is on the underparts. Juvenile
> Chipping Sparrows show rather heavy streaking that extends all the way down
> the underparts at this season. Hatch-year Chipping Sparrows seem to hold
> their juvenile plumage, or at least elements of it, longer than other
> sparrow species. They typically show extensive streaking below well into
> August and sometimes early September. This streaking extends fairly
> evenly well down on the underparts (as seen on the bird at Jeff's link)
> with no cutoff at mid-breast. Phil's bird is at best sparsely and finely
> streaked below and there seems to be a marked cutoff to the streaking
> (except along the flanks) about mid-breast. This look is more typical of
> Lincoln's and Savannah Sparrows and not at all typical of a juvenile
> Chipping Sparrow.
> Another issue as it relates to Chipping Sparrow is the combination of a
> strong dark malar mark below the broad defined tan moustachial stripe,
> which are quite prominent on Phil's bird. Chipping Sparrows, even juvs,
> typically show a very weak malar mark and a poorly-defined to absent
> moustachial stripe. This prominent malar and broad tan moustachial stripe
> above it are good marks for Lincoln's Sparrow and Savannah. There is one
> photo that seems to show quite a bit of yellow in the supraloral area
> (forward section of the supercilious), which points to Savannah Sparrow.
> The fairly conspicuous wingbars pretty much rule out Lincoln's in my
> opinion. This bird also doesn't seem to be dark enough above for a
> Lincoln's. This is a very challenging bird, but I would lean in the
> direction of it being a Savannah Sparrow, with no farms wagered. Over the
> years I taken a number of photos of juvenile Chipping, Brewer's, Savannah
> Sparrows and I don't recall seeing one that looked quite like this bird.
> Dave Irons
> Beaverton, OR
> ------------------------------
> *From:* <obol-bounce...> <obol-bounce...> on behalf
> of Jeff Gilligan <jeffgilligan10...>
> *Sent:* Saturday, July 15, 2017 9:12 PM
> *To:* <pandmnosler...>
> *Cc:* OBOL Birders Online
> *Subject:* [obol] Re: Stymied by a Sparrow
> It looks like an immature Chipping Sparrow to me. Not much unlike the one
> in this link:
> Young Chippies tend o show up in somewhat unexpected locations this time
> of year. The bold post-ocular line, prominent malar stripe and
> moustachial line, and pale bill all look good for a Chippie to me.
> Jeff gilligan
> On Jul 15, 2017, at 1:21 PM, Peter Nosler <pandmnosler...> wrote:
> Hello, OBOL
> Can anyone please offer an identification for this sparrow? I found it
> along the Clackamas River today. I was thinking it might be a Spizella of
> some sort, but I can't find any images that really match this bird well. I
> also thought it might be a Lincoln's Sparrow, but I didn't see any silver
> above the eye, which always stands out to me on a Lincoln's Sparrow. Maybe
> it's an off looking or juvenile Savannah Sparrow?
> You can see four pictures of the bird here:
> 127388251@N04/
> Thanks for your help,
> Phil Nosler

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