Date: 7/11/19 3:39 pm From: <clearwater...> Subject: [obol] Sparrow ID Help - Prairie Farm - Jefferson County
Yes, as Shawneen and Craig have stated, the dark line through the eye is diagnostic for juvenile CHIPPING SPARROW.
I'd like to add an additional note of caution, especially for birders west of the Cascades. The line through the eye on juvie Chipping Sparrow isn't always as conspicuous as it is on this bird. I'm seeing 15 or more per day right now on some of our "Oregon" Vesper Sparrow monitoring sites, since chippers thrive in similar oak-savanna habitats. This morning on one site in Benton County, I saw six of them lined up on a single section of barbed-wire fence.
There are some relatively pale birds with weak ocular stripes, hanging out in family groups that are most assuredly Chipping Sparrows. I think it's a wear-related transition-plumage thing but I haven't tried to figure out the detailed explanation. Rising & Beadle do note that juvenile western Chipping Sparrows are generally paler than eastern birds.
If you look on eBird, there are a lot of reports of Brewer's Sparrows from the Willamette Valley from July and August, many of them with no details, or at best, just a note that these were "juveniles." My guess is that a lot of these were juvenile Chipping Sparrows. My suggestion is to be really cautious on putative juvenile Brewer's, especially west of the Cascades.
If anyone really wants to work on juvie Chipping vs. Brewer's Sparrow ID, a great place to see good numbers of both side-by-side in this season is the water trough on the way up to the Pine Mountain Observatory, east of Bend. Judy Meredith just recently posted a report on a field trip to that spot. That spot is right at the transition between open sagebrush and open pine forest so it gets roughly equal numbers of both species.
[obol] Sparrow ID Help - Prairie Farm - Jefferson County
* From : Jack Williamson <jack.williamson.jr@xxxxxxxxx> * To : OBOL Oregon Birders Online <obol@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> * Date : Wed, 10 Jul 2019 19:51:52 -0700
We photographed the sparrow below today while visiting Prairie Farm.
I am leaning toward juvenile BREWER'S SPARROW due in part to (i) its long, notched tail, (ii) overall coloring, and (iii) conical bill.