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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Canada, Alberta - Sparrow (1 Viewer)

KhostAdenplusmore

Well-known member
Hello,
I have a questionabout this sparrow I saw. I had thought it was a Song Sparrow, but I wonder at that ID. Now I am feeling sort of torn between calling this a Song Sparrow (juvenile), or a Lincoln's Sparrow. Any opinion?
z.
 

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KhostAdenplusmore

Well-known member
I have another question>
as now is the time of year with juvenile birds starting to fly around, and they can sometimes seem to be slight variations from the adults which I am seeing in my guide books, I have another bird I am not certain about. This bird quickly flew past. I had the impression of perhaps an American Three-toed Woodpecker, but I think the white flashes on the wings indicate that was not correct. So what else? All I can think of i this area is a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. But as I do not see a trace of red on the head I am not recognizing it as a Sapsucker as depicted in my guide book. But can this be a juvenile Yellow-bellied Sapsucker?
 

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Indobirder

Well-known member
Everything apart from the head matches Yellow-bellied. It appears to have some red on the crown, so how about a female transitioning to adult plumage?

I'm sure others will know better.

Often it is better to make a new thread for a new query, as people currently expect this to be about a sparrow.
 

Maroon Jay

Airborne
Canada
I would say Song Spr. The eye-ring, malar and breast on Lincolns are a buffy yellowish colour. Song Sprs are variable but mostly white and brown.
 

Indobirder

Well-known member
I would say Song Spr. The eye-ring, malar and breast on Lincolns are a buffy yellowish colour. Song Sprs are variable but mostly white and brown.

But this bird has a buffy color on the malar and eye-ring?
I'll admit the streaking is on the broader side, but I still see a Lincoln's here
 

AveryBartels

Well-known member
Differentiating juvenile Lincoln's and Song Sparrows can be a real challenge as their plumages are somewhat variable at this time. That being said I am strongly leaning towards Lincoln's on this bird, in large part due to structure. As noted by indobirder the peaked head is a point in favour of Lincoln's though not conclusive. More important for me though are the more delicate bill and legs/feet (as a bander/ringer I'm perhaps more used to noticing this latter as Lincoln's take a smaller band size than Song). On the plumage front, the crisper streaking on the head and fine black streaks within the darker striping on the crown are also more in line with Lincoln's. The main thing I see that is not a good fit for Lincoln's is the apparent clean whitish colouring of the flanks which should have some buffy/cream tones. This could be an artifact of the lighting though as these pictures are bit low contrast and washed out.

The woodpecker is indeed a juvenile Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. No other Albertan woodpecker has those large white wing patches and juveniles commonly have limited/no red in the crown. For that matter, it is worth noting that a small percentage of females also have a solid black crown without any red.
 

Maroon Jay

Airborne
Canada
Differentiating juvenile Lincoln's and Song Sparrows can be a real challenge as their plumages are somewhat variable at this time.
The main thing I see that is not a good fit for Lincoln's is the apparent clean whitish colouring of the flanks which should have some buffy/cream tones.
Agree with your analysis Avery. This is a difficult one indeed. I went with Song Spr due mostly to the lack of the buffy colour on the breast and also the eyering, although the colour of the eyering is difficult to determine in this photo as it is not sharp enough.
 

AveryBartels

Well-known member
Agree with your analysis Avery. This is a difficult one indeed. I went with Song Spr due mostly to the lack of the buffy colour on the breast and also the eyering, although the colour of the eyering is difficult to determine in this photo as it is not sharp enough.
Difficult indeed, and frankly, I wouldn't bet my house on either!
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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