Verification of Unusual
Rec. # 2007-44
|Scientific name:||Ammodramus bairdii|
|Length of time observed:||On and off for about 1 hour|
|Distance to bird:||Within a couple feet.|
|Optical equipment:||10X42 B & L Elites|
|Weather:||Partly cloudy skies and becoming windy.|
|Description: Size of bird:||Small|
|(Description:) Basic Shape:||Sparrow|
|(Description:) Overall Pattern:||Brown and white.Yellow cast to head|
|(Description:) Bill Type:||Conical|
Field Marks and
The bird was flat headed with a rather large looking bill and a yellowish cast
to head with fine dark streaks on crown and nape and a yellowish central crown
stripe. Dark spots on the rear of
the auricular and a distinct thin dark malar stripe that connected into a dark area ( spot )on the sides of the upper breast neck area. There was dark streaking on the sides of the upper breast and the throat was whitish. But that was all I was able to see of the bird on the ground despite
chasing it around for about an hour. When I flushed the bird out of the grass ( several times at very close range ) I could see that it had pale outer rectrices.Not distinct like a Vesper sparrow but I could see them. The tail length of the bird in flight didn't look long but wasn't as short looking like other Ammodramus sparrows. It looked like it fit the size of the bird.
|Song or call & method of delivery:|
The bird was very secretive and I about had to step on it to get it to fly. It
would only fly about 20 to 30 feet low to the ground in a somewhat jerky not
direct flight and then dive back into the
grass. When I tried to relocate it would have moved from where it had landed.
|Habitat:||Orchard with 6" to 1' high grass surrounded by desert scrub habitat.|
were they eliminated:
The most similar that I thought it might be was a Grasshopper Sparrow. But the
head color and the dark malar ending in the dark area on the sides of the upper
breast, neck didn't fit even a juvenile Grasshopper. Also the tail in flight
didn't fit a Grasshopper Sparrow.
A Savannah Sparrow wouldn't have been so secretive after chasing it around for that long. They don't have the flat headed large bill look of this bird or the yellow cast to the head.
LeConte's Sparrow Have a different head pattern and look small and short tailed.
Henslow's Sparrow also have a different head pattern.
this & similar species:
|I've seen Baird's Sparrows on there wintering grounds in Arizona acting very much like this did.|
|References consulted:||Sibley and Sparrows of the US and Canada.|
|Description from:||Notes taken at time of sighting|
|Observer's address:||131 N. Butch Cassidy Trl|
|Observer's e-mail address:||firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Other observers who independently identified this bird:|
|Additional Comments:||I didn't see the bird well enough to tell if it was an Adult or HY bird.|