Documentation of Clay-colored Sparrow

Observer Information

Reporter:  Mike Henwood   
Other Observers:  Rob Raker; Yes

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Clay-colored Sparrow
First Date/Time:  9/2/2008
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  5-10 seconds
County:  Jefferson
Specific Location:  Bear Creek Lake Park in the shrubby area east of Fitnes #1 Station.
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


Scrub habitat consisting mostly of Rabbitbrush and scrub willows. fairly thick cover. Area has proved to be a consistently good spot for migrants.

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Stokes DLS Vortex 8x42
Distance:  approx. 20 feet
Light:  Sun was low in the sky and behind us. Favorable light conditions.

Description of the Bird

The bird was in a mixed flock of Brewer's and Chipping sparrows (40-50) and popped up on the outer edge of some rabbitbrush for a short while enabling us to get a good look at the bird. It had clean buffy colors including a buffy supercilium, distinct auricular patch, white malar area and buffy sides.
Behaviors: The mixed flock of sparrows was feeding on the ground and in and around the dense rabbitbrush and scrub willow. The bird popped up for a few seconds and gave us a good look.
Call: n/a
Plumage: Adult non-breeding

Similar Species Discussion

There were Brewer's and Chipping Sparrows in the mixed flock of birds. this bird just jumped out at us because of the sharper, cleaner, and buffy colors.

Resources Used

We referred to The Sibley Guide to Birds afterwards.

Previous Experience

I'm very familiar with Chipping and Brewer's and have identified Clay-colored on several occasions.


Notes made AFTER observation

Additional Information

Time: approx. 7:30 to 8:00A.M.
Elevation: approx. 5600 feet
Other Dates:
Nearest Town: Morrison
Independent Observers: Yes

Materials Available

No files uploaded.

Date Documentation Submitted

12/29/2008 3:59:00 PM