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.

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).

Here's the only good photo I managed to get:

Priscilla Sokolowski

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