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Possible Field Sparrow


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Hello everyone,

 

I spotted this bird at my feeders in West Michigan today. I think it is a field sparrow, but technically they shouldn’t be here during the winter. It had a pale, unmarked breast, and a light pink/beige-ish beak. It also had a thin white eye ring. I for sure saw an American tree sparrow yesterday, but this bird is slightly different.

Sorry for the poor quality photos, I was trying to take a picture through my binoculars!

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8 minutes ago, Sneat said:

I feel that this individual looks better for an immature White-crowned Sparrow. Note the clear lores that would be dark on a Chipping Sparrow.

Agreed. It's a Zonotrichia, which can be narrowed down to Golden-crowned or White-crowned by the crown pattern and unpatterned throat, which can be narrowed down to White-crowned by range. Edit: and the bold line behind the eye.

Edited by Colton V
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Thank you! He is back right now, and I can agree that he looks like an immature white-crowned. I can see the stripes on his head more clearly now. I’ve seen the adults here before.

He’s a little far north for this time of year, isn’t he?

Edited by FishkaFishka
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2 minutes ago, Colton V said:

Agreed. It's a Zonotrichia, which can be narrowed down to Golden-crowned or White-crowned by the crown pattern and unpatterned throat, which can be narrowed down to White-crowned by range. 

Unless the White-crowneds look markedly different in the east this looks much more like a Golden-crowned to me. It makes no sense in the range, but I also saw someone I follow on instagram post a varied thrush in South Carolina last week, so I'm wondering if the irruption year is driving some Western species east. Ebird is showing some eastern sightings this winter. (I'm probably wrong.)

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4 minutes ago, FishkaFishka said:

Thank you! He is back right now, and I can agree that he looks like an immature white-crowned. I can see the stripes on his head more clearly now. I’ve seen the adults here before.

He’s a little far north for this time of year, isn’t he?

Ah, never mind

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Thanks everyone for correcting my overenthusiasm. I'm used to seeing immature white-crowneds with more parallel stripes on the head, and the median strip being flared out like that looked to me more like a typical golden-crowned. Always good to confirm those field marks!

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