Date: 4/30/19 4:28 pm From: John McKitterick <john.mckitterick...> Subject: [MDBirding] Clay-Colored Sparrow in Columbia
I was eating lunch on the patio in the full sun, with my binoculars ready hoping for a warbler. Instead, siskins by the dozen and a red-breasted nuthatch, and then, a chipping sparrow. Or so I thought, since we have at least one pair in our yard all the time. Fortunately, I put the binoculars on the supposed chippy only to realize that it had no red crown, but did have a center stripe on its head. Sun-addled as I was, I immediately thought immature chipping sparrow! But it flew into a tree closer by, and I realized that the stripe on its head was much more clearly delineated than an immature chippy's would be, and that it had a much bolder face pattern. And too, it is way too early for an immature chippy out without its parents, at which point the sparrow flew away. Only then did I put it all together -- clay-colored sparrow. It hasn't returned.
--John McKitterick Columbia, MD
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