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Sparrows - Grasshopper, Song and Unknowns


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Hi,

What: Sparrows ... or Bobolinks. I know, not the same, but I thought the first 2 were female Bobolinks, because I saw them in the same preserves as males Bobolinks (which are, of course, easy to identify). I'm having second thoughts, and wondering if they are Grasshopper sparrows instead. So ...

1- Is this a Grasshopper sparrow?

2- Again, Grasshopper sparrow or Bobolink

3- I have no idea, but that bill is huge!

4- I think this is a Song sparrow, but it has very faint markings on the chest.

5- I don't know.

Where: 1 & 2 - Cider Mill Grassland Preserve, NJ. 3, 4 & 5 - Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve, NJ

Central New Jersey, open meadows with tall grass and hedges

When: all in summer (late June to early August), 2018 and 2019.

Thanks

 

Bird 1

201806-NewJersey-5R5A6881-900.jpg

Bird 2

201807-NewJersey-5R5A7147-900.jpg

Bird 3

201907-NewJersey-5R5A1015-900.jpg

Bird 4

201908-NewJersey-5R5A1139-900.jpg

Bird 5

201908-NewJersey-5R5A1155-900.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, The Bird Nuts said:

I believe 1, 2, 3, and 5 are all Grasshopper Sparrows (big beak is one of the ID marks for them), 3 and 5 being juveniles.  4 is a Song Sparrow.  It is young, so that's why it has thin streaking.

agreed

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Hi, 

Henslow's would be very rare on the east coast, even though Negri Nepote (the Preserve where I took the pictures) is one of the few places where eBirds reports them regularly. 

Here are 3 additional pictures, taken the same day, at the same place.

The first one is the same bird as Bird 3

201804-NewJersey-5R5A1004.jpg

The other 2 are of the same bird, different from the one above

201804-NewJersey-5R5A0979.jpg

201804-NewJersey-5R5A0984.jpg

Edited by PascalNJ
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1 hour ago, The Bird Nuts said:

@blackburnian  I can't find any photos of Henslow's with a streaked supercilium and auriculars like that.

That’s fair. But, even still, that’s an abnormally large bill for a Grasshopper, no? When eBird gets back up, I’ll check out some photos of the bird reported from the site. Also, of note, it’s a juvenile with that gape. 

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7 hours ago, The Bird Nuts said:

I believe 1, 2, 3, and 5 are all Grasshopper Sparrows (big beak is one of the ID marks for them), 3 and 5 being juveniles.  4 is a Song Sparrow.  It is young, so that's why it has thin streaking.

.I agree with this... there are quite a few breeding pairs of Grasshopper Sparrows there and only only lone Henslow's which none of these pics are.

Edited by birdbrain22
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Thank you all for your help with these sparrows. 

9 hours ago, blackburnian said:

That’s fair. But, even still, that’s an abnormally large bill for a Grasshopper, no? When eBird gets back up, I’ll check out some photos of the bird reported from the site. Also, of note, it’s a juvenile with that gape. 

I've just done that. The pictures on eBird of the Henslow's at Negri-Nepote show a bird with dark markings on the head, in particular eye-stripe and malar, which none of my birds have.

I think I'm going with what The Bird Nuts and birdbrain22 are suggesting: Birds 1 and 2 (plus the last one I have added later) are adult Grasshopper sparrows and 3 and 5 are young Grasshopper sparrows, which explains why the bill look very large (?)

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45 minutes ago, PascalNJ said:

which explains why the bill look very large (?)

I can't contribute to the discussion regarding the bird's ID, but I think you're right about the bill looking large because of the bird's age. Without the fully grown feathers at the base of the bill, which actually hides part of the bill, a bird's beak can look huge in comparison to it's parents.

Edited by lonestranger
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