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Are these all song sparrows?

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(Today near Sacramento.)

I have a devil of a time with song sparrows. I think I get them down, then I start looking closely and stop trusting myself. And if you don't mind, can you tell me what you look for when ID'ing song sparrows?

Picture 1


Picture 2


Picture 3



Picture 4


Picture 5


Picture 6

quesitonsparrow2 (2)

Picture 7



Picture 8

quesitonsparrow (2)




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1,2,3,and 7 are Savannah. Tricky angles for some of the, but the crisp streaking, clean white breast coloration, thinner malar stripe and short tail are good marks for Savannah. 4,5,6 are Lincoln's, with the very thin streaking, buffier chest contrasting with white belly and also a very thing malar stripe. 


Call is often a better way to ID tricky sparrows. It takes some practice to get down, but Lincoln's have a pretty distinct call that gives them away from Song Sparrows, often before you even see them. 

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1. Savannah?

2. Savannah (thin pink bill, tan back, crisp breast streaking, pale yellow supercilium, brown cheeks)

3. Savannah

4. Lincoln's (thin streaking on buffy flanks, buffy malar, )

5. Lincoln's

6. Lincoln's, I think.

7. Savannah

8. Song (large gray bill, gray cheeks, rich brown markings on top of gray and white)

Edited by The Bird Nuts
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1 - 3 Savannah - note the pink on the bill and legs; overall more slender and shorter-tailed than melospizas like Song, Lincoln's, Swamp; markings are finer and mostly brown and white with less rusty and grayish tones than Song Sparrow

4 - 6 Lincoln's - melopsiza with buffy submoustachial, weak malar stripe, broad gray eyebrow, fine streaking over buffy breast and flanks

7 Savannah

8 Song - melospiza with a strong dark malar, overall coarse markings with grays, dark browns, and rusty tones


Lol took too long writing that


By the way there is a continuing Swamp Sparrow up the channel a little ways from the first pump station at Yolo Bypass you should check it out

Edited by AlexHenry
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