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Spizella Sparrows in Sacramento California

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I went looking for a recent clay colored sparrow that has recently been seen in my area and found a big flock of spizella, but I cant tell the brewers and clay colored apart. I have no experience with either of these species but I have my guesses.

here are my guesses

Clay colored on the right, brewer's on the left? second photo shows the suspected brewer's. My guess as to why it's brewer's is because there seems to be a little streaking in the nape, but I am not sure how much Is within expected limits for clay color. 


I believe that both of these are brewers, although the bird on the left looks quiet a bit like some photos I found of field sparrows, however, I don't believe it is.


I suspect this is an immature brewers based on all the streaking on the underparts.1808518716_DSCN5618_09-14-202009-19(2).thumb.JPG.8030981a5c54b729beb9c82c96643af5.JPG

I suspect this is a clay colored sparrow based on the clean white throat, possible white crown stripe and a clean grey nape.




Edited by Aidan B
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Thanks for the kind replies, I'm not sure if it will help, but I do have additional photos of most of these birds if needed as they were fairly cooperative and I went looking for clay colored and brewer's. I fairly certain that there was a clay colored hanging around as several fairly knowledgeable birders reported one here the day before and later that day if that's of any help

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Yeah, these two species are really difficult to distinguish. I would agree with Benjamin: all of these seem to be Brewer’s. Even though the last bird seems like a Clay-colored, the supercilium is distinctly duller than the submoustachial streak, which suggests otherwise.

Here’s a good PDF: https://www.birdpop.org/docs/pubs/Pyle_and_Howell_1996_Spizella_Sparrows_Intraspecific_Variation_and_ID.pdf

I’m curious about @Tony Leukering‘s opinion.

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Thanks for the replies, it looks like everyone agrees that they are brewers sparrows, and feel that I agree as well after reading the responses and article. I sure have learned a lot from this, and it made me a better birder.

Thanks you all for the help with this identification.

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