Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Identifing from Odd Angles: How to Identify an Olive Sparrow from Behind

Last week, on NuttyBirder.com, we posted what turned out to be a very difficult identification quiz. I thought it would be good to show our readers here on the blog the photo and talk about how to identify the bird pictured.

Last Week's NuttyBirder.com Photo Quiz Bird
This is a tricky angle to identify most birds from and an Olive Sparrow is even trickier. The best place to start with this photo is with the olive green color that we can see on the wings. This alone eliminates a lot of the potential species such as all of the thrushes and the majority of the sparrows. Both Green-tailed Towhees and Olive Sparrows would have wings that are similar in color to what we can see in the photo. There are multiple factors that eliminate Green-tailed Towhee, the wings should be more yellow than this picture shows, the tail is brown not green, pink rather than black legs, and a striped pattern of brown and gray on the crown where as the towhee would have a rufous crown.

Are there any field marks that help you identify this Olive Sparrow that I have missed?


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