Documentation of Clay-colored Sparrow

Observer Information

Reporter:  Glenn Dunmire  PO Box 72,   Cahone, CO  81320
Other Observers:  Carolyn Dunmire

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Clay-colored Sparrow
First Date/Time:  9/13/2005 2:00:00 PM
Last Date/Time:  9/13/2005 2:45:00 PM
Duration (total time in view):  45 minutes
County:  Dolores
Specific Location:  16241 County Road R, Cahone CO 81320
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Non-breeding


bird feeding at bird feeders

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  none
Distance:  in hand
Light:  daylight

Description of the Bird

Behavior-eating bird seed at feeders with multiple other bird species. Numerous Chipping Sparrows present for comparison.
Birds flushed from feeders area. The Clay-colored Sparrow hit a window and was stunned. It sat at base of the window it had crashed into. This gave me the opportunity to look at the bird at close range (1 foot) without optics. I compared live bird to plates in three field guides-a rare opportunity to have the luxury of time. After 30 minutes the bird perked up and I continued observing it from inside house. After 45 minutes it recovered enough to fly off.
No calls observed.
Field Marks were as expected for Clay-colored Sparrow. Facial markings were correct for species and eliminated Brewer's. Possible confusion with Chipping eliminated by careful comparison of facial/throat/head markings, rump color, and overall color tone of bird.

Similar Species Discussion

Chipping Sparrow-Many Chipping Sparrows were present for direct comparison. The Clay-colored was observed feeding on ground amidst the Chipping Sparrows before it hit window. It jumped out as different from the other birds at the feeders. Clay-colored lacked crisp eye line and had the expected facial marks or pattern typical of the species.
Brewer's Sparrow-Brewer's sparrows are occasional at our place. We had one the previous month feeding with the Chipping Sparrows. The Clay-colored did not have the drab overall appearance of a Brewer's. Clay-colored exhibited expected facial/head patterns.
Other Sparrows-We are visited regularly by White-crowned, Lark, and Song Sparrows. The Spizellas are structurally different from these species.

Resources Used

Field Guides-Sibley, National Geographic, and Peterson.

Previous Experience

Daily experience with Chipping Sparrows that use feeders at our house. At work I see/hear Chipping Sparrows frequently while conducting survey work, point counts, etc. . I encounter Brewer's Sparrows at work infrequently. Clay-colored Sparrows seldomly and always during migration.



Materials Available

No files uploaded.

Date Documentation Submitted

12/29/2018 12:24:00 PM

Location Map

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