Date: 11/24/19 11:21 am From: Priscilla Sokolowski <priscillanhk...> Subject: [obol] Eugene area song sparrow (subsp?) - Hileman County Park
Dear OBOL birders;
Probably I just have one of our everyday Song Sparrows here, but I'm troubled by the short "wren-like" tail and something about the wings feathers - (with white edges?). I'm not sure the streaking is entirely typical of our local species either. So I'm wondering if it is another subspecies. I wondered about it and asked a few friends who also thought it is a bit different, and was ready to drop the issue until Sally Hill posted her melodica/atlantica Saturday.
My bird was Thursday, Nov 24, at Hileman County Park, which is a few miles north of Santa Clara, near to but on the west side of the Willamette River. For what it's worth, this is 5.7 miles east of Sally Hill's melodia/atlantica seen yesterday on Bond Rd near the airport.
While I think of sparrows are being difficult -(for me), I'm surprised as I list them, to see that I can usually recognize Lincoln's, Savannahs, Song, Chipping, Golden Crowned, White-crowned, White-throated and Fox. But really, those all have some very conspicuous field marks if you see enough of the bird. So maybe I'm not crazy to think this Song Sparrow is not our usual variety.
Observations: The Hileman bird was in the blackberries bordering the side trail towards the West. It didn't stay in sight, nor did it sing. Nor did it just dive into the thicket below as more of our group approached. It was about 70 feet away from us. Instead, it took flight 30 feet parallel to the trail, to another bush, landing lower in that bush. That's where I got the photo of it. It only perched there a few seconds and then flew again and I lost sight of it. Unfortunately, I did not get any photos showing the breast of the bird. Our bird is squat shaped compared to many of our song sparrows, with a shorter tail and something different about the wings (when perched).