Species, Date, Time and Location Information
3/9/2022 9:00:00 AM
3/11/2022 9:45:00 AM
Duration (total time in view):
5 minutes first day (9th); 25 minutes (11th)
Chalk Cliff Fish Hatchery, Nathrop
NOTE: At Chalk Creek Fish Hatchery (not anywhere near Bassam Park as shown automatically in summary of location) Feeding on fish raceway and parallel dirt "road"; "road" edged with row of thicker brush and willows
bright; sun to my SE
Description of the Bird
Large sparrow with dirty gray breast and golden colored crown
bordered by dark brown wide lines. Some yellow below these lines over
the eye. Crown itself not extending beyond front of head; thin gray
striping top and back of head. Pink legs, 2 white wing bars also noted. A
bicolored bill was noted when the photo was viewed. There was also a
thin brown eyeline that likely indicates a first winter bird thus my
notation of transitional plumage.
The bird was hopping, walking
and pecking on the narrow metal grated walkway that crosses the fish
raceway. These often have remnants of algae, small fish fragments, and
fish food on them. The bird flew down briefly to the dirt road next to
the raceway and then flew into the thick brush that lines a fence along
the hatchery when one of the fish feeding trucks approached. Beyond the
brush is a slightly more open area and then larger cottonwoods. The
bird was not seen after it dove into the deep brush although I waited in
the area another 30 minutes.
As far as I know no one else had reported this bird here before I saw it on March 9, 2022.
I watched the bird again on March 11th. This time it was feeding on the edge of the dirt road next to the fence. I noticed some fish food buried in the gravel and grass in that area. I watched it for about 15-20 minutes.
Similar Species Discussion
I didn't really consider any other species.
I have seen this bird before in Colorado at Red Rocks and in Alaska, so I knew what it was, but wondered about the dark brown (not black) crown border, crown not extending very far back onto the head, and eyeline, for that I checked Sibley.
I have seen this sparrow at Red Rocks where long looks under the feeder were possible. I have a fair amount of experience with sparrows in general both living in the midwest (Ohio) and in Colorado where I've done BBS routes.
Notes made AFTER observation
Date Documentation Submitted
3/16/2022 10:20:00 PM
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