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which sparrow species Sacramento 5/3/20 (1 Viewer)

which sparrow is this? It was seen sitting about 20 feet up in an oak tree. My best guess would be White Throated Sparrow, however all the Zonotrichia sparrows have left and White Throated Sparrows are not easy to find around Sacramento. The other option would be a Chipping Sparrow, however this sparrow seemed larger. There was bad lighting on this bird and it didn't stick around for long so I'm sorry for the poor photo

Thanks for the identification help.
 

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rkj

Well-known member
Hard to say from this photo. I think it is not a White-throated Sparrow, which should show some yellow on the lores. I would guess is is a lingering White-crowned Sparrow, but could be convinced it is something else.
 

tom baxter

Well-known member
The Buffy edged tertial feathers and coarsely streaked back strongly suggest Savannah Sparrow, and the face pattern fits better too, in my opinion.
 

The Bird Nuts

Birding Duo
The Buffy edged tertial feathers and coarsely streaked back strongly suggest Savannah Sparrow, and the face pattern fits better too, in my opinion.
Hmm...I didn't think of Savannah, but I guess it could be that the lore is not actually dark. I don't see a dark stripe along the lower edge of the auricular, though. Is that okay for Savannah?
 

tom baxter

Well-known member
Hmm...I didn't think of Savannah, but I guess it could be that the lore is not actually dark. I don't see a dark stripe along the lower edge of the auricular, though. Is that okay for Savannah?

It’s hard to say, they are an extremely variable species. The lores do appear dark here on this bird. I really don’t know which it is as I am looking again. I don’t get the impression of Chipping, when I look I still get the impression of Savannah, but then I zoom in on the face and it doesn’t particularly slam dunk for either of them for me. I’ll leave my comments above for thought stimulation, but I don’t know here. One of the rare instances when anyone might be between a savannah and a chipping.

Side note, I spent the past year and a half in California and in my experience Chipping Sparrows are very scarce. Common some places, but seldom did I encounter them.
 
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HeadWest

Well-known member
This is a song sparrow. Savannah never will show a broad and extended pale supercilium like this. Chipping would, but this isn’t a CHSP.
 

birdmeister

Well-known member
United States
I could maybe see Savannah, but definitely not Song! I'm not sure I feel confident going beyond that. I could still be convinced of Chipping, too.
 

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