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Sparrow ID Fun

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Wow.  I saw what looks like the same species (top 2 pics) for the first time at my feeders yesterday.  It stood out for me as I have never seen a bird with the 2 dark spots (1 under each side of the chin/malar area). and what seemed like a longer than usual tail.   But I live in Western NC.  Couldn't ID them. 

Edited by Dan
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It's Spizella time!  Gary, for more fun with sparrows, I imagine Clay-colored Sparrows are migrating through your area these days too.

Dan, Brewer's would be very unlikely in NC, I believe.  Several sparrow species have those dark malar stripes.  One where they're especially noticeable that has a long tail is Song Sparrow, though I'd expect that to have darker streaks than the Brewer's in these pictures.  But Song Sparrows are very variable, and I've been wrong before.

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11 minutes ago, Dan said:

I was thinking Song Sparrow too.  It did have darker breast streaks than these photos, but no dark breast spot which may be typical for Song Sparrow?   New variety called the “Western NC Mountain Spotless Song Sparrow”?

The dark breast spot is not a reliable ID mark as some Song Sparrows lack the spot and other sparrow species can have it.

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