Field Sparrow!

It was quite the day at CONE Welder yesterday. Lots of birds noticed that the feeders were restocked (thanks, Welder people!), including lots of those icterids I used to take for granted, and then missed when the food went away: Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Common Grackle were all in evidence yesterday.

And then there was this little guy (or gal), who showed up at 11:39 a.m.:

Image 130473

Hooray for the game’s first Field Sparrow! The above shot, my favorite of the five that were taken, was by rafa, who also got the honors of the first shot. (The other lucky players who got a shot of the Field Sparrow were peinkeyworth and lynch.)

I wasn’t around when the excitement was happening (my job keeps me off the birdcam during peak hours these days, mostly), but there was some very interesting discussion surrounding the ID, with idbirds being the first to commit to Field Sparrow, and cimperialis providing some useful guidance, as someone who has firsthand experience with the bird.

An excerpt from the chat follows (with non-Field Sparrow chatter edited out). Congratulations to everyone who got a shot of this fun new bird!

[11:40:16] vanilla: Swamp sparrow?
[11:47:29] rafa: I don’t think it’s Swamp Sparrow
[11:47:57] rafa: did anyone see the breast?
[11:48:27] vanilla: What do you think it might be? I am not good with sparrows.
[11:52:12] rafa: I don’t know. but those wingbars and eyering doesn’t match with the swamp in my guide.
[11:53:43] rafa: what about Field or American Tree S.?
[11:54:00] vanilla: Okay…thanks, rafa. You 3 got some nice shots….nice and clear
[11:54:28] vanilla: Let me check my FG
[11:55:19] rafa: Idbirds are you there? heeeelp!
[11:55:37] rafa: 🙂
[11:55:51] vanilla: I was thinking the same!
[11:56:10] vanilla: Or robin….or loughman….
[11:56:18] vanilla: LOL!
[11:58:59] idbirds: I’m here …
[11:59:19] idbirds: Let me look at the pics… hold on
[11:59:43] vanilla: Yay!
[12:01:30] rafa: CIF
[12:02:29] rafa: Lynch, did you see the front of the Sparrow?
[12:07:00] idbirds: Interesting … has an eyering … so possibly Field Sparrow (?)
[12:07:42] vanilla: Thanks for your input, id.
[12:08:17] idbirds: does it have a pink bill?
[12:09:21] idbirds: Field sparrow has pink bill; am tree sparrow has dark bill above, and yellow below
[12:09:54] idbirds: the field guides show that am tree sparrow not in texas at any time
[12:09:59] rafa: yes, looks more bi-colored to me but it’s not the range of the American Tree Sparrow
[12:12:43] lynch: Hi all was frozen out for the last 20 min, just zoned my sparrow shot, but keep getting spinning clock
[12:13:26] idbirds: classsed as what, lynch?
[12:17:05] lynch: havent clasifed it yet
[12:17:48] lynch: Have you considered chipping sparrow?
[12:19:17] idbirds: chipping sparrow has a black eyeline both behind and in front of the eye. this bird doesn’t
[12:19:36] rafa: I agree
[12:25:44] vanilla: Sparrows are tough! Nothing in my FGs seem to fit the descriptions.
[12:27:03] vanilla: ….descriptions = the photos.
[12:52:26] vanilla: id….what do you make of the sparrow?
[12:53:20] idbirds: I think field sparrow, at least according to field guide. I’ve never seen one.
[12:53:35] vanilla: Nor I…
[12:56:07] idbirds: my real question is-Can I put it on the list of birds I’ve seen?
[12:56:27] vanilla: 🙂
[12:57:11] vanilla: Several people are keeping separate lists now….actual and virtual
[13:29:57] cimperialis: who got the Field Sparrow?
[13:30:40] vanilla: Firdt phot is rafa
[13:30:57] vanilla: But he hasn’t ID’d yet.
[13:31:12] vanilla: *First photo
[13:31:35] cimperialis: ah and that’s a first one right?
[13:32:06] vanilla: Yes
[13:34:33] idbirds: you have experience with this species cimperialis?
[13:37:32] cimperialis: oh yeah
[13:37:40] cimperialis: they’re super common here in OH
[13:37:52] vanilla: Ya done good, id!!!
[13:37:58] cimperialis: just got that titmouse BTW
[13:38:06] vanilla: Perfect!
[13:38:54] cimperialis: why is there question in the ID?
[13:39:41] idbirds: we didn’t have experience with it… used the field guides
[13:39:52] cimperialis: ah ok
[13:40:07] cimperialis: are you all west coasters?
[13:40:52] idbirds: I am
[13:41:07] vanilla: Yes….and recently located in UT
[13:41:59] idbirds: what is it that tells you its field sparrow, cimperialis?
[13:42:15] cimperialis: almost blank-looking face
[13:42:18] cimperialis: eyering
[13:42:44] cimperialis: it’s got that chipping sparrow-type back/wing pattern
[13:42:47] cimperialis: with the wingbar
[13:43:07] cimperialis: pink bill too
[13:44:16] idbirds: ok
[13:45:19] vanilla: Thanks…both if you.
[14:25:19] rafa: hi. i’ve just zoned and ided the sparrows as FISP.
[14:26:14] idbirds: ok. did you read cimperialis’ comments on field sparrows?
[14:26:43] rafa: yeah
[14:28:08] rafa: The bird matched the FISP to me too. But I’ve never seen anyone.
[14:28:44] rafa: Good to have somebody who know the bird ‘in person’
[14:29:31] idbirds: definitely!


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