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What Sparrow, Salt Marsh or Nelson


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Hi! Everyone.  Yesterday I saw this small sparrow on the road through Edwin B. Forsythe NWR, Brigantine Division in Atlantic County, NJ.   It allowed me to grab shots from standing outside the car but only behind the door.  I was once told that salt marsh sparrows are skittish.  I recently read where Nelson are shy.  This bird was neither.  I ruled out a Lincoln and if you notice there appears to be a dark spot on the chest.  The streaking is light and not bold, and the chest is gray.  Guidebooks make this bird too dark gray in my opinion for a salt marsh and to early to be a Nelson.  There are three photos.  One of the back and there is almost no tail, maybe one feather.  Below is a link to my Flicker account.  The album is Help with ID of this Sparrow.

Thank you,  Nancy Erickson

Help with ID of this Sparrow

 

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I'm not totally sure about this bird. Nelson's can show streaking on the breast like this and it looks awfully buffy, as opposed to the crispness of Saltmarsh. Then again, this bird is pretty scruffy and ragged, so that may explain the lack of crisp breast and throat pattern. I would tentatively say Saltmarsh, but more photos couldn't hurt. 

Example of Nelson's with streaking:

 

Ammodramus_nelsoni_-Riverlands_Migratory_Bird_Sanctuary,_Missouri,_USA-8_(1).jpg

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