Verification of Unusual
Rec. # 2005-14
|Scientific name:||Spizella Pallida|
|Length of time observed:||5 minutes|
|Location:||Millard Co,. 4 miles east of Crystal Peak along Black Rock-Garrison Road|
|Distance to bird:||30 meters|
|Optical equipment:||Swift 8.5x44|
|Weather:||Clear and windy|
|Description: Size of bird:||Sparrow size about 5 inches long|
|(Description:) Basic Shape:||Sparrow shaped|
|(Description:) Overall Pattern:||brownish|
|(Description:) Bill Type:||small conical|
Field Marks and
While conducting a Breeding Bird Survey I heard the bird first. It was singing a
single note 3 or 4 phrase buzzy raspy song, similar to a brewers sparrow but
much shorter. I located the bird and
at first glance I thought it was a Lark Sparrow with the bold facial pattern.
* Brown crown with dark streaks running through it. Down the center of the crown was a prominant off-white stripe.
* Bold white supercillium
* Brown cheek patch which was edged by darker brown which helped contrast it sharply with the white supercillium and pale malar stripe.
* Pale malar stripe had a darker whisker stipe running through it.
* pale lores
* Grayish Collar on the sided of the neck which extended around and included the nape
* Bill was small pale and conical
* Breast and belly were almost white, very slight buffy colored.
* Tail slim fairly long and slightly forked
* Back brownish with darker streaks running down from the grayish nape.
* rump Brownish
* wing bars pale
|Song or call & method of delivery:||A single note raspy, buzzy call 3 to 4 short phrases long|
|Behavior:||Was perched on top of a Sagebrush singing for several minutes.|
|Habitat:||sage, low brush habitat|
were they eliminated:
Brewer's Sparrow is the only species that is slightly similar in breeding
plummage. There were Brewer's Sparrows in the same area at this survey stop and
other stops during the morning. The Brewer's Sparrows seemed to be more grayish
overall and more washed out coloring. The Clay-colored Sparrow was brownish
overall with bolder coloring. The Brewer's had streaking through the crown with
a faint median stripe but no where near as bold and distinct as the
Clay-colored. The brewer's Sparrows did not have the bold facial markings with
the contrasting cheek patch, whitish and prominate supercillium and whitish
malar stripe. The Brewer's Sparrows did not have the grayish nape but rather
light brown with darker brown streaks. No whisker stripes were
noted in the Brewer's Sparrows.
this & similar species:
|This is my first observation of a Clay-colored Sparrow. I have seen Hundreds of Brewer's Sparrows.|
|References consulted:||Sibley, Kaufman, Zimmer|
|Description from:||Notes taken at time of sighting|
|Observer's address:||887 Germania Ave.|
|Observer's e-mail address:||
|Other observers who independently identified this bird:|