Documentation of Clay-colored Sparrow

Observer Information

Reporter:  Mike Henwood   
Other Observers:  none; yes

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Clay-colored Sparrow
First Date/Time:  9/9/2008
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  several minutes
County:  Jefferson
Specific Location:  Bear Creek Lake Park just east of Fitness Station #1
Number:  2
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


brushy habitat with lots of Rabbitbrush, willows, a few scattered trees(Russian Olive and young Cottonwood)

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Stokes DLS Vortex 8x42
Distance:  approx. 40-50 feet
Light:  It was early morning; the sun was behind me and shining on the birds as they sat at the base of a bush.

Description of the Bird

It had rained the night before and everything was wet. The two sparrows were sitting at the base of a bush soaking in the sunlight. They were sitting with their sides toward me. Both were very similiar to each other and seemed small, slim, and colorful for sparrows. I could see the streaked, dark brown crown with a pale stripe, buffy supercilium,
brown ear coverts with a dark brown mustache, distinct malar stripe. The brown wings had some beige. Chin was white and sides were beige or buffy.
Behaviors: The birds weere sitting at the base of a bush in a brushy area soaking in the morning sun. they were there several minutes allowing good looks.
Call: n/a
Plumage: adult non-breeding

Similar Species Discussion

Because of the bright colors I eliminated Brewer's Sparrows and i could tell it was not a Chipping Sparrow, which I am very familiar with.

Resources Used

After birding in the morning, consulted The Sibley Guide to Birds and Sparrows of the United States by Beadle and Rising.

Previous Experience

Lots of experience with Chipping and Brewer's Sparrows. Some experience with Clay-colored in migration. Have studied sparrows to become proficient in ID's.



Additional Information

Comments: Location is a good spot for spring/fall migrants
Time: approx. 7:30 A.M.
Elevation: approx. 5600
Other Dates:
Nearest Town: Morrison
Independent Observers: yes

Materials Available

No files uploaded.

Date Documentation Submitted

12/30/2008 6:14:00 AM